Sweet victory for Coca-Cola’s PR team

Hah. A triumph for Coca-Cola’s PR people, a setback for Sue Kedgley and her mob of food fanatics.

A campaign for Coca-Cola promoting the artificial sweetener aspartame has won New Zealand’s top public relations industry award.

Network PR’s ‘Aspartame – Facts and Fiction’ campaign sought to restore confidence in the substance by working with the health industry.

Aspartame has been a contentious foodstuff for years, subject to claims it causes cancer, seizures, neurological damage, learning problems and contributed to obesity.

In 2007 the New Zealand Food Safety Authority said such concerns were not justified – adults needed to drink 14 cans of sugar-free drinks every day of their lives before they might show any ill-effects.

Aspartame’s use continued to be criticised. The Greens’ Sue Kedgley was among those who said it was used in medicines given to children while safe food fanatics called for products containing it to be banned from schools.

Her contribution to the cause was recognised by a Dr. Betty Martini, from an outfit loftily named Mission Possible International in Duluth, Georgia.

Martini sent Scoop a statement to enthuse at a campaign featuring an Abby Cormack, who was on TV and in newspapers and magazines alleging how Wrigley’s aspartame-laced gum destroyed her health.

Then she said:

We salute Abby Cormack, Parliamentarian Sue Kedgley and the rest of the New Zealand team for protecting Kiwi’s with the truth and the facts!

In one article which records Kedgley’s advice on what we should be avoiding, she said if we stick to two basic principles, we should be able to avoid most harmful products.

Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognise and try to avoid food with five or more listed ingredients such as additives.

Go for it, Kedgley. Spread the word.

If it’s good advice, the public will take it.

And if they don’t…

Too bad.

Let us live, eat and die the way we choose.

3 Responses to Sweet victory for Coca-Cola’s PR team

  1. Stephen Fox, Editor New Mexico Sun News says:

    This is absolute balderdash. Abby Cormack has done a great job educating New Zealanders, and so has Dr. Martini, worldwide. If you want to ingest a chemical metabolized as formaldehyde, be my guest: we’d like to watch you die and maybe make a video of your neurodegenerative symptoms. To describe your right to do that as “freedom” is a total perversion of that word.

  2. Alf Grumble says:

    Wow. The prospect of starring in a video appeals, more than somewhat, although maybe I would come to a sticky end under the grim scenario painted by Stephen Fox. Think I’ll give it a miss and bow out as I’d planned (so long as the food fanatics and booze banners don’t stop me)with my gout-ridden leg up on a stool and my liver slowly shrinking, hardening or whatever it does in reaction to my whisky intake.

  3. Farmer Baby Boomer says:

    I’m not totally in aggreement with Sue Kedgley’s nanny state approach to food but nor am I comfortable that a PR compaign that sets out to to promote a product that is supported only by industry studies – ie that is those with vested interests.
    This what I have heard refered to as “cigarette science” – a reference to the fact that tobaccco companies had knowledge of harm done by tobacco long before most of society accepted it was proven and legislated for warnings on tobacco products.
    Coca Cola is being hypocritical here. While running this PR campaign they are launching a Coke sweetened with their version of Stevia. Stevia is a low calorie herbal sweetener that has been used by the ‘natural food’ Industry for some years. (Google “Stevia Coca Cola” for references)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: