Propaganda of big soda

Thanks to consumerist.com for the alterered billboard image.

I gave up soda-type beverages a couple of years ago.  I certainly enjoyed the carbonated, caffeinated little cans of wonder, but somehow I knew that they weren’t good for me.  As a scholar of propaganda, I’m amazed at how similar the large soda manufacturing companies are to the large tobacco manufacturing companies.

The comparison is mostly that they seek to change audiences minds without letting them know that they have a vested interested in selling more soda. I’m not the only one who noticed this comparison.  Kelly Brownell writes the following in Time Magazine:

The soda industry funds scientists who reliably produce research showing no link between SSB consumption and health. The tobacco industry bought favor from community and national organizations by giving large donations. In an ironic twist, Coca Cola and PepsiCo are corporate sponsors of the American Dietetic Association.

The soda industry hit a new low this year. In 2010, Philadelphia’s mayor and health commissioner had both supported an SSB tax and came within one vote of having the tax passed by the city council. In 2011, when the mayor made it clear he would reintroduce the tax, the industry created an organization called Foundation for a Healthy America, which gave a gift of $10 million to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for research and prevention of childhood obesity. Would the hospital accept money from a tobacco company to study anti-smoking programs? The hospital tried to give some of the money to the city to run obesity programs through city health centers, but the mayor refused on the grounds it was funded by the beverage industry.

via Kelly Brownell on the Dirty Tactics of Soda Companies | TIME Ideas | TIME.com.

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1 Comment

Filed under capitalism, communication, media, propaganda

One response to “Propaganda of big soda

  1. SandyW

    A truly great article!
    I have not consummed sodas in about 20 years, and I feel that my health is great. Soda companies are worth many billions of dollars and use those dollars for propaganda–and buying out organizations like the American Dietetic Association (now called Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics). To me, this organization is a giant propaganda college and a sham. They are sponsored by soft drink, candy, and processed food corporations. How demeaning and dangerous to the health of a country. Soft drink companies also promote prejudice and brutality (and murder) to union organizers. Just search “Killer Coke.”

    Getting free of soft drinks is a step into true freedom. In my opinion, a person addicted to sodas is not free–but a slave to fast food corporations–corporations that are poisoning children from the inside out–something much worse than a terrorist could ever dream of.

    We must love our children enough to feed them real food–and give them freedom from propaganda and addictions that would destroy their health.

    Thanks for this article.

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