Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Coca Cola's latest deceit

Here's a case study on deceitful marketing that I cut out of my local newspaper.

The ad screams,

"Up-front Calorie Labeling. No need to read between the lines"
and goes on to explain,
"the easier it is to find the calories, the easier it is to make the choices that help you and your family achieve a sensible, balanced diet"
Now putting aside the fact that Coca Cola has no place in a sensible balanced diet let's go back to how easy it is to find the calories.

Looking at this helpful new label it would appear that the bottle of Coca Cola has 110 calories. No need to read between the lines.

What it doesn't mention is that while there might not be a need to read between the lines, there's a need to read below the lines and then follow that up with some long division and multiplication.

If you look just below the large fonted 110 you might notice the small fonted calories/250ml qualifier.

The bottle is 591mL.

591mL/250mL * 110 calories = 260 calories.

Coca Cola folks, when you read this - 260 calories in big type on a 591mL bottle would be up-front labeling. 110 calories in big type on a 591mL bottle with small print below stating /250mL? That's just slimy marketing.

[UPDATE May 8th, 2010: Saw some cans at the store. They were labeled correctly with total calories for the whole container and not just 250mL. Looks like their deceit is limited to their national campaign launching the program]

[Hat tip to Twitter's @kidactivecanada]