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Coca Cola myth busting campaign

4 December 2008

Summary

The OPC, the Parents Jury and the Australian Dental Association complained to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that claims in Coca-Cola's 'myth busting' campaign – that it is a myth that Coca-Cola 'makes you fat', 'rots your teeth' and is 'packed with caffeine' – were false and misleading, and breached the Trade Practices Act. The complaint presented evidence that sugary soft drinks, including Coke, are associated with increased energy intake, weight gain, and risk of medical problems, and that black cola drinks, such as Coke, contribute to tooth decay.

A paper on the effects of black cola drinks on dental health was submitted with the complaint.

Outcome

The ACCC took action in response to the complaint based on its view that Coca-Cola’s claims created the impression that Coke cannot contribute to weight gain or tooth decay, and that a responsible parent could include Coke in the family diet without regard to these issues. The ACCC accepted court enforceable undertakings from Coca-Cola that it would not continue to claim that Coke cannot contribute to weight gain or tooth decay, or that Coke contains only half the amount of caffeine as a cup of tea, and that it would publish corrective advertising in all media in which the campaign appeared (which included all major Australian newspapers). Coca-Cola also gave an undertaking that it would review its trade practices compliance procedures.