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Article

Targeting Children and Their Mothers, Building Allies and Marginalising Opposition: An Analysis of Two Coca-Cola Public Relations Requests for Proposals

1
Global Obesity Centre, Deakin University, Deakin University Waterfront Campus, 1 Gheringhap St, Geelong, VIC 3220, Australia
2
U.S. Right to Know, 4096 Piedmont Ave. #963, Oakland, CA 94611-5221, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010012
Received: 15 October 2019 / Revised: 19 November 2019 / Accepted: 25 November 2019 / Published: 18 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
The study provides direct evidence of the goals of food-industry-driven public relations (PR) campaigns. Two PR requests for proposals created for The Coca-Cola Company (Coke) were analysed. One campaign related to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, the other related to the 2013–2014 Movement is Happiness campaign. Supplementary data were obtained from a search of business literature. The study found that Coke specifically targeted teenagers and their mothers as part of the two PR campaigns. Furthermore, Coke was explicit in its intentions to build allies, particularly with key media organisations, and to marginalise opposition. This study highlights how PR campaigns by large food companies can be used as vehicles for marketing to children, and for corporate political activity. Given the potential threats posed to populations’ health, the use of PR agencies by food companies warrants heightened scrutiny from the public-health community, and governments should explore policy action in this area. View Full-Text
Keywords: food industry; The Coca-Cola Company; public relations campaigns; childhood obesity; marketing to children; corporate political activity food industry; The Coca-Cola Company; public relations campaigns; childhood obesity; marketing to children; corporate political activity
MDPI and ACS Style

Wood, B.; Ruskin, G.; Sacks, G. Targeting Children and Their Mothers, Building Allies and Marginalising Opposition: An Analysis of Two Coca-Cola Public Relations Requests for Proposals. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 12. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010012

AMA Style

Wood B, Ruskin G, Sacks G. Targeting Children and Their Mothers, Building Allies and Marginalising Opposition: An Analysis of Two Coca-Cola Public Relations Requests for Proposals. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(1):12. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010012

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wood, Benjamin, Gary Ruskin, and Gary Sacks. 2020. "Targeting Children and Their Mothers, Building Allies and Marginalising Opposition: An Analysis of Two Coca-Cola Public Relations Requests for Proposals" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 1: 12. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010012

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