Soda-drinking polar bears go viral, cola companies angry

Cuddly characters take aim at the soft-drink industry

What would happen if polar bears really drank cola? A video campaign created by pro-health lobby group The Centre for Science in the Public Interest is asking just that, and the results aren’t pretty.

In the video, a family of polar bears drink soda after soda as family members gain weight and become increasingly sedentary. Momma bear’s teeth fall out. Daddy bear gets diabetes (and the related symptom of erectile dysfunction) and eventually has his limb amputated by a chainsaw-wielding fox doctor.

All this happens to the tune of an upbeat song called “Sugar,” which was created just for the video by singer Jason Mraz.

While the video doesn’t actually mention Coca-Cola by name, the soft-drink company has used polar bears in its marketing since 1922, writes NY Daily News. The video also debunks direct quotes from Coca-Cola executives and subjects the bears to the slogan “Be Happy,” a knock at Coca-Cola’s Open Happiness campaign.

Of course, cola companies are rather unimpressed with what they see as an attack on their product.

Ad Age reports that, in an email, Coke spokeswoman Susan Stribling said: “This is irresponsible and the usual grandstanding from CSPI. It won’t help anyone understand energy balance, which is key according to recognized experts who’ve studied this issue—a group that, by default, doesn’t include CSPI. Enough said.”

This isn’t the first time the ad’s creator, Alex Bogusky, has gone up against food industry giants. In September, he gave $100,000 to a California campaign supporting a bill that would require food companies to label for the use of any genetically modified products. Opponents of the bill included PepsiCo, Nestle, Coca Cola Co. and Conagra, reports Ad Age.

It’s part of a change of heart for the star advertiser, who once worked for companies including Burger King, Dominos and even Coke, but has shifted to more socially minded projects in the last two years. In an interview with USA Today, Bogusky said he doesn’t have a problem with soft drinks, in moderation, but the problem is that people view pop as a beverage, rather than the candy it really is. “When consumed in small portions, it’s not a problem,” Bogusky tells USA Today. ”But in huge quantities, it is. I call it portion distortion. When we have small, medium and large that are all too big, people gravitate to the middle.”




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Soda-drinking polar bears go viral, cola companies angry

  1. not only cola co. is angry, but I bet you the drugs co.’s are as well,: they actually promote these kinda habits, because when people get sick, it’s their turn to do the money grab, when they sell their “legal potent drugs”

  2. Hmm, your just mad because the SCPI came out and said 100% truths about Coke & soda in general. Put an egg in coke and leave it for a year… the chemicals yellow and decay the shell (which is nearly the same compound as your teeth) to utter uselessness. One glass of soda a day is bad for you, the amount consumed by the average Coke drinker leads to a myriad of health issues.

    Simply put, for the health of Canada banning soda, specifically cola products would do a world of good those that are addicted to it like smokers to their vice.

    • What about banning tobacco? Fuzzy drinks are a nuisance compared to smoking.

      • So you’re saying you want soft-drinks put under the same type of restrictions as tobacco now? Jesus.. make up your mind.

        • Here’s what I want to say; Fuzz drinks are a mild irritant to public health and a favorite target for the nanny state. Banning Coca-Cola and the other soft drinks will have a very little impact on the long term. Take the city of New-York who banned the use of containers bigger than 16 oz to sell fuzz drinks. They used the same excuse of “Too much sugar” made in that video. What they failed to do is to ban the sale of all sugary drinks (sport drinks, dessert-coffees, smoothies, Sunny Delight) who got the same caloric load in cups larger than 16 oz.

          So, what’s the message? Drinking sugary drinks is bad only when it is pop? It is easy to make since it falls in the well-known category of “Junk Food”. It is a nice-feeling thing to do. This being said, if the real goal is to improve the public health, you need to hit a little bit harder. What is the use of protesting (or even banning) pop when a known, addictive and carcinogenic product is still on open sale.

          • AKA, if we can’t do it perfectly, we shouldn’t do it at all.

            Sorry, I’ve never bought into that logic as it leads us precisely nowhere.

            We start with the largest and worst offenders. Soft-drinks, and the soft-drink industry really do qualify in that because of the ubiquitousness of their product, their intended market demographic, and the lack of restrictions or controls on them. Is it a perfect solution? Of course not. Is this a perfect world? Nope.. but doing little bits to make parts of it better is a hell of a lot better option than just throwing our hands up and going, “Nope! Can’t deal with all of it, so can’t deal with any of it!”

        • You have absolutely no clue about what you are talking about… do you?

    • ? Why not put an egg in your stomach acid for a year and see what that deathly chemical does to it? Yes people drink too much soda…but try to at least make relevant observations to back your point up.

  3. “HEY! Don’t tell people we are selling poison!”

    • All drugs are poison, including marijuana.

      Relax, have some absinthe, smoke an opium laced chunk of hashish…

  4. Well, that was nice.
    I am waiting for the next one that will target expensive smoothies shops and Starbuck’s “Mucho-Grande-Mocha-Latte with whipped cream and caramel syrup”. Or maybe it is easier to target the low hanging fruits like Coca-Cola and McCrap. Time will tell if SCPI got balls or not.

    • Does over 70% of the population consume those kinds of drinks multiple times every day, and do the companies involved have marketing budgets in the multi-millions specifically promoting them to people? No?

      Then perhaps it’s nothing to do with balls or not, but rather to do with having the brains to use their resources on the issues that actually matter.

      • and do the companies involved have marketing budgets in the multi-millions specifically promoting them to people? No? Actually the answer is “yes” these companies target 2nd and 3rd world countries with water issues. look at mexico as an example or even America for that matter.

        • Thwim’s reference is to Starbucks et al, not the cola companies. Try reading it again.

        • Mexicans crap in their water… the drug cartels and the NAFTA free trade manufacturers dump a lot of waste into the water.

          • who the hell do you think you are to talk bullshit you don’t know about? If you dare to say that crap, then i dare to say that americans are all fat and want to die, that’s why they keep going to a mc donalds on an electric wheelchair. beacuse they can’t walk anymore with all that fat they keep eating.. but it’s ok cause it’s cheapper than healty food.

        • With all the drug cartels in Mexico being fed guns by the Obama administration, Coca Cola is the least of their worries.

    • I doubt the SPCI has the resources to take on the likes of Coca-cola, Pepsi, Starbucks, or my top pick – Red Bull – with equal vigor.

      Nothing wrong in going for the low hanging fruit. After all, that’s what all of the above are doing.

    • I think marijuana is worse than any of that… just wait until the pharmaceutical and agricultural cartels patent the genomes.

  5. in third and second world countries where water is an issue….coca cola is rampant, they even design larger bottles in these regions and of course the end result is obesity and serious health issues…coca cola needs to be regulated like cigarettes.

    • Bloody nonsense…

      You’ll get Coca Cola bootleggers.

      They should put the cocaine back in it.

  6. Emily, didn’t you mean “genetically” where you said “generically”?

  7. So let me get this straight…. Hip hop artists can promote hardcore drug use, degradation of women, crime and gun use, but warning people about drinking too much sugar is crossing the line? Is this the world we have chosen to live in? What is going on?!?!?

    • They tell the schoolchildren gay sex is o.k., here is some “medical” marijuana, but don’t you dare smoke a cigarette afterwards.

      And, if you bring a Bible to school… you will be crucified…

  8. If people only understood how unhealthy they are, even the diet ones (they’re the worst) they wouldn’t poison themselves that way.

    I like the video and I hope it spreads and people gets it.

    • They’re not about your health; they’re about baiting you, hooking you, and keeping you hooked. It’s like the government and the oilpatch.

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