Coca Cola Truck Tour 2018 Dates Announced

Coca Cola Truck Tour 2018 Dates Announced

Yesterday Coca Cola announced this year’s tour dates for the Coca Cola Christmas Truck Tour – very timely on the day of the Food Active Conference in Manchester, discussing tackling obesity in pre-school children.

We have long opposed the Coca Cola truck tour arriving in the North West, having coordinated local and national letters to Coca Cola to call for more responsible marketing to children and published an article in the BMJ to make the case for public health.

With figures showing that 35.2% of 10 to 11-year olds in the North West are overweight or obese and that 33.4% of 5 years olds have tooth decay, many public health departments have used their ever-squeezed budgets to launch campaigns about sugary drinks to try to help their communities reduce their consumption.

Coca-Cola’s tactics in attempting to frame the debate around healthy weight have been documented. Whether this is in shaping research, sponsorship of mega events, funding community sports activities, or even raising funds to distribute food for people in need, Coca-Cola’s mission is clearly both to promote its business and shape public opinion. At Christmas, Coca-Cola’s marketing goes into overdrive as newspapers across the country regurgitate press releases for its Christmas truck tour, with advertorials promoting the truck as a Christmas tradition

In its seventh year on the road, the Christmas of 2017 saw the truck visit four locations in North West England offering visitors the opportunity to have their photo taken with the vehicle while being given free product (including a 150 ml can of standard Coca-Cola containing 15.9 g of sugar—nearly four teaspoons).

This year, we welcome the announcement that there is only one visit in the North West this year, in Manchester. The truck will not be visiting any local authorities part of the Food Active network, which is an important movement towards tackling the growing tide of childhood obesity and dental decay across the network. The battle is not over however – we know that high street giveaways and sampling tours of unhealthy food and drinks happen all year round, so we will continue to work with our partners to support them to reduce children’s exposure to less healthy food and drink marketing through the year.

 


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