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Personalised Coke bottles target children – health advocates

Monday 29 Oct 2012 5:43 p.m.

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By Jerram Watts

Coca-Cola's "share a Coke" campaign has taken social media by storm and now it's introducing pop-up vending machines where you can print your own name on a Coke label.

Coca-Cola's catchphrase is "open happiness", but health advocates are condemning the campaign, saying it's clearly targeted at children.

Endocrinologist Dr Jeremy Krebs from Wellington Hospital says it deliberately targets children.

“It's advertising to children by stealth. What they're relying on is the growth with this in social media, and who's using that? It's the kids of today, not the adults.”

A total of 150 different names can be printed on the Coke labels, and people 3 News spoke to today seem to like it.

“Yes, it makes me love Coke,” one man says.

“I thought it was pretty cool to have your name on a Coke bottle,” a woman says.

“If I see my name on it I’ll buy it, otherwise generally no,” another man says.

Dr Krebs says it is concerning Coke is only using its full-sugar product in the campaign.

“From one bottle of this you get 65 grams of sugar. That's about 240 calories of energy, and for a 40kg child, your average child, it would take them two hours of walking to burn off that energy.”

New Zealand Dental Association chief executive Dr David Crum is not happy either.

“From what I've been told the sales of Coke have increased significantly, so along with that we'll see more dental disease, and more dental decay. Coke causes dental decay.”

Coke would not say how the successful the campaign has been and wouldn't appear on camera either. In a statement the company says it does not directly market to children under 12, and that parents are responsible for what their children drink.

3 News

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