Coke defends itself against prime minister's comments

Coca-Cola has rebutted criticism from UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who told Parliament he was trying to steer his children away from drinking Coke.

Coca-Cola has rebutted criticism from UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who told Parliament he was trying to steer his children away from drinking Coke.

Speaking in the House of Commons last week, Cameron said he tries to stop “excessive” amounts of the beverage being consumed in his household.

He said public health was one of the biggest challenges facing the UK, adding, “As someone trying to bring up three children without excessive amounts of Coca-Cola, I know how big this challenge is.”

The soft-drinks company responded by arguing that its drinks can be consumed as part of a “balanced lifestyle.”

“'Everybody is entitled to their opinion, and I'm sure David Cameron knows as well as anyone that [a balanced lifestyle] is as much about calories out as calories in,” said Hilary Quinn, brand director for North West Europe and Nordics at Coca-Cola

Quinn spoke to Marketing at the unveiling of a major CSR drive in which the company is partnering with environmental charity WWF to invest in Arctic conservation projects and raise awareness of the plight of polar bears.

In the US, Coca-Cola launched an anti-obesity campaign last week, airing two-minute spots on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC. The soft-drink-maker points out that it offers 180 low- and no-calorie beverages out of more than 650 beverage products. However, critics called the campaign a “damage control exercise.”

This article first appeared on the website of Marketing, PRWeek's sister title at Haymarket Media.

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