It's no secret that Coke, or any number of alternate soft drinks, are incredibly bad for you. Mainly because they're full of sugar, and also because the health people say you should be drinking water instead. With Christmas coming up we're going to start seeing a lot of marketing from the Coca-Cola company, particularly with the arrival of the giant red lorry. Well now it looks like its days could be numbered.
Members of the Liberal Democrats in Liverpool have called for the Coca Cola truck to be banned from the city, with leader Richard Kemp claiming to be "appalled" that the "grossly unhealthy" product could arrive in a city that "is in the grip of an obesity epidemic".
Liverpool One has hosted the famous red lorry for the past five years, and Kemp has written to the shopping centre asking whether or not it will be returning for 2017 - and in the process listed the reasons why the visit shouldn't happen.
"I believe that the visit by Coca Cola should not take place. You only have to look around you to see that Liverpool is in the grip of an obesity epidemic - 30% of our 11 years olds are obese with about 5% being clinically obese. Up to 60% of our adults are obese and many of them clinically obese - we must take action to deal with this because the consequences are alarming."
He also described the event as "cynical" adding that "It is not designed to welcome Christmas but to increase the consumption of a product that is grossly unhealthy."
According to the Liverpool Echo last year's event was followed by criticism from public health expert professor John Ashton, who claimed that Coca-Cola were "hijacking" Christmas to give people the gift of weight gain and bad teeth. He was accused of lacking festive cheer, because everyone knows that you can't have Christmas without an international corporation peddling its product.
Coca-Cola responded to the recent criticism with the following statement:
“The Coca-Cola Christmas truck tour provides a moment of fun for everyone in the build-up to Christmas and we’ve had a positive response from many people in Liverpool when we visit each year. The tour is now in its seventh year and each year we receive hundreds of requests to visit, something that we take into account when creating a route which has a good geographical spread.
People will have the opportunity to see the truck up close, have their photograph taken and enjoy a choice of a small 150ml can of Coca-Cola Classic or one of our zero sugar options Diet Coke or Coca-Cola Zero Sugar.”
Liverpool One didn't confirm whether the truck would visit this year, because the exact details of Coca-Cola's tour have yet to be revealed.
Honestly I can understand all the criticism here. Coke has a lot of sugar in it, and sugar really isn't good for you. Coke wants you to spend money on Coke products, and events like this are how they do it. It maybe an annual event, but so are the John Lewis adverts that people cry at for no good reason. The link to Christmas doesn't mean things are exempt from criticism, and the idea that you can be 'lacking in festive cheer' for not liking it is downright stupid. Plus there are plenty of ways to celebrate Christmas or embrace the holiday season, many of which do not require the involvement of a company that peddles sugar water. [Liverpool Echo]
Image: The Photo UK/Flickr