Coke’s Good Deed Does Not Go Unpunished

Mar 05, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Coca-Cola Foundation’s $1 million grant to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) has drawn criticism by health advocacy groups. The grant is to promote dental education and research.

Dr. David Curtis, president, AAPD, said Coke’s grant would not sway the organization’s research or educational messages. He told the Associated Press, “There is such an important message our organization is trying to get to the public, and Coke has an exceptional reach to consumers. The opportunity is there to help us reach them.”

Michael Jacobson, executive director, The Center for Science in the Public Interest, has a different view. “It is astonishing and outrageous that the AAPD would enter into a partnership with the world’s biggest producer of soft drinks.”

Mr. Jacobson added, “The Coca-Cola company has effectively bought a health professionals organization for a million bucks.”

Moderator’s Comment: What is your reaction to the Coca-Cola
Foundation’s deal with the AAPD? Could the publicity surrounding this grant
hurt Coke’s image/business?

We don’t believe that Coca-Cola has ever said that soft
drinks promote good dental health. The company’s products are intended to be
consumed in moderation.

Obesity and bad teeth are not Coke’s doing. Poor dietary
habits, lack of exercise and attention to personal hygiene are to blame. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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