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Coca-Cola Addresses Obesity Head-on in New Ads

January 14, 2013

Coca-Cola is jumping into the obesity debate, airing two ads addressing the issue head on.

The obesity debate -- and beverages' role in the health crisis -- has been raging for years. Local governments across the country have unsuccessfully tried to pass taxes on sugary beverages. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg introduced a ban on large, sugary beverages, which is set to go into effect in March. And Alex Bogusky and the Center for Science in the Public Interest rolled out the "Real Bears" to mixed reviews in October. While Coca-Cola has been vocal in media, government and industry circles about its moves to bring more low and no-calorie options to market, the new ads mark the first time the beverage giant has taken its message directly to a large swath of consumers.

"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."

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