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Coca-Cola Tries to "Get the Target Off Our Backs" by Persuading the Public That Diet Coke and Other "No-Calorie&q

Posted Dec 18 2008 8:11pm

Coca-Cola is getting into some very clever, if not misguided marketing tactics to somehow convince John Q. American Public that there's a place in the diet for both empty-calorie, sugary soft drinks and/or chemical-laden "diet drinks."

Not only that, but Coke is "on a mission" to tack on the phrase "health and wellness" onto Diet Coke and other "no-calorie" drinks. You can learn about these marketing ploys, thanks to Duane D. Stanford of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, who was in Scottsdale, Arizona recently, where he attended the annual conference of the Consumer Analyst Group of New York.

Mind you, I wasn't in Scottsdale myself, but journalist Stanford heard Coke CEO Neville Isdell share insights into the soft drink company's marketing approaches to offset flat sales of its carbonated soft drinks.

For instance, in his astute article, entitled "Coke tries to shift obesity focus off its drinks," Stanford reportsof the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Isdell announced plans to broaden the debate overthe obesity epidemic so Coke can "get the target off our backs."


Yes, according to Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Duane Stanford, Isdell branded millions of us who are health-minded as "targets"! And he wants us to quit revealing the truth about Coke's products, including seemingly innocent ones named "Coke Zero" or "Diet Coke Plus."

Reportedly, one way Coke plans to "get the target off our backs" is to use different terminology for diet drinks. Indeed, rather than rightly referring to them as "carbonated soft drinks," Coke wants us to name them "sparkling beverages." Hmm. Sounds a bit deceptive to me.

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