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Coke Admits It Makes You Fat: That's the Real Thing
By: Shawn Paul Wood
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..."Oh, I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. I'd like to give the world a Coke and make them all beached whales with hypertension, high blood pressure and a wheelbarrow of flab"...

Okay, so karaoke was never my thing, but according to Coca-Cola's newest "ad campaign," that song should have never been their thing. In short, the soda juggernaut admits their cutesy product makes you fat. And now (in small print), they are going to help do something about it. 
"It's the first time we're really leaning into the conversation," Diana Garza Ciarlante, a Coca-Cola spokeswoman, told Ad Age. "We're doing it in a way that's anchored in what people expect of Coca-Cola. They expect us to be part of the dialogue, to lead where we can and to be responsive." A two-minute ad, "Coming Together," will begin airing today on national cable channels. The spot, created by Brighthouse and Citizen2, highlights the company's record of developing, distributing and marketing low- and no-calorie beverage options. And it clearly communicates a "calories in, calories out" message. "Beating obesity will take action by all of us, based on one simple common-sense fact -— all calories count, no matter where they come from, including Coca-Cola and everything else with calories," a voiceover in the ad says. "If you eat and drink more calories than you burn off, you'll gain weight."
Fat polar bears. Singing kids holding back truck driver-type belches. Rotting teeth. Kidney stones. Battery acid burning refreshment. All the signs were there; nonetheless, Coca-Cola is looking for a pat on the back for being our good neighbor. That headline is right up there with "Water is wet," "The Kardashians' 15 minutes should have been up 15 years ago," and "Firm handshakes are very popular in the WNBA." 

So, your thoughts? 

Is this a conscious effort to educate the public or just a PR stunt waving the white flag of America's health conscience? (See what I did there, grammarians?) Apparently, haters of 'The Real Thing' see what they did there too. 
“This is an industry under siege. This is a damage control exercise,” said Jeff Cronin, a spokesman for the Center For Science in the Public Interest. “It's not meant to be a meaningful contribution to addressing obesity.” Cronin also said in the NY Daily News that "Coke is less interested in health and more interested in avoiding new “fat taxes” on sodas — which some cities are pushing." Like, New York, for instance. 
So here it comes, absolving itself from guilt (and trying to make more cash): calorie counts on soda cans and ad campaigns on 'The Biggest Loser'. Surely, America won't be able to see through that paper-thin veil of corporate social responsibility. Heck, I'm addicted to the stuff and I saw through it immediately. I appreciate the concern, Coke. Yes, your addictive sugary goodness makes us all fat, but hey, Coke cares. Makes me all warm and fuzzy just thinking about it...or is that gas? I can't tell any more after this article. 

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About the Author
Shawn Paul Wood is a hack-turned-flack with more than 20 years of collective journalism, copywriting and marketing communications experience. Shawn Paul is founder of Woodworks Communications in Dallas, Texas. If you need him, ping him here or follow him on Twitter @ShawnPaulWood
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