Coca-Cola, Pepsi Fight Back Against New York City Soda Ban

Soda makers and the New Yorkers for Beverage Choices launch agressive PR campaign

It's not just the American Beverage Association that's fighting back against Mayor Bloomberg's proposed soda ban: now, soda makers, like Coca-Cola and Pepsi, have joined forces to push back, as the approaching public hearing is only one week away.

USA Today reports that the forces behind the New Yorkers for Beverage Choices coalition have launched an agressive public relations campaign to fight the sugary drink ban. Among the tactics used: radio spots, petitions, ads on movie marquees, social media campaigns, and even airplane banners (really). 

Why are the soda giants putting so much effort into the attack? They're scared to lose more money. Volume sales for Coca-Cola and Pepsi are already declining; 1 percent in the last year for Coke and 5 percent in the last year for Pepsi. And the giant Big-Gulps you can get at the movie theaters and 7-Eleven are the "money makers," said Joe Pawlak, vice president at food industry research firm Technomic, to USA Today — beacuse they're marked up 10 to 15 percent. The cost of the ban, if passed, would have big ramifications for these companies, he said. 


In response, Bloomberg and the Department of Public Health have launched their own set of ads, urging New Yorkers to drink healthy. "Are you pouring on the pounds?" is the latest marketing tactic to to hit New York City subway cars. The public hearing will be one to watch.