As designers, we have always loved the logo, the bottle and the charm of those nostalgic Coca-Cola Christmas press advertisements – the smiling Santa brandishing that highly desirable bottle to the adoringly expecting children.
But the reality is a far more sinister matter. Whether by design or coincidence, since Jamie Oliver’s highly disturbing programme screened last month about the explosion in diabetes caused by the excessive use of sugar in our foodstuffs, Coca-Cola has been on a charm offensive. A few weeks back, they were out in force giving away free cans to passers-by at my local station in Clerkenwell.
Snapped from a bus a little later.
And they also ran a series of full-page colour advertisements in the nationals. Now it would seem that Coca-Cola has set to work on injecting large amounts of money into medical research in an attempt to counter the negative medical claims against their product. Echoes of the tobacco industry’s attempts at lobbying the benefits of smoking come to mind.
Snapped in a 99p store.
But I find the behaviour of the large supermarkets that push litre bottles of Coca-Cola and Pepsi in their 2 for 1 offers (always positioned at the entrance to their stores) is shameful and clearly a collusion with these international drinks companies in order to get kids addicted as early as possible – generations to come will be packed into our already overstretched health service to the cost of everyone.
This is one area where the nanny state would be a very good thing.