Holidays are coming, but not everyone is welcoming the truck that has become synonymous with Christmas TV advertising: the Coca-Cola truck. Senior Labour MP Keith Vaz has said that the truck is not welcome in his Leicester constituency at a time when one in three children in the area suffer from tooth decay, according to bt.com.
Mr Vaz said: “The Coca-Cola truck is not welcome in Leicester, and this national tour to promote sugar-laden drinks is ill-judged and unwise at a time of record diabetes and obesity levels. Coca-Cola have said the truck will not be giving their products to younger children but this clearly unenforceable.
“This tour is not the ‘real thing’, it is the wrong thing.”
Action on Sugar have echoed the calls of Vaz and called on Coca-Cola to cancel their nationwide tour to celebrate the advert’s 20th anniversary.
Campaign manager, Jennifer Rosborough, said: “Given the obesity and Type 2 diabetes crisis, not to mention tooth decay, that we are currently facing in the UK, Coca-Cola should be taking a more responsible approach by cutting the sugar in their drinks rather than blatantly marketing their products.
“One can of regular Coca-Cola contains nine teaspoons of added sugar (35g), which is equivalent to 140% of the draft WHO guidelines for added sugar intake.
“This is an example why there needs to be stricter marketing regulations; people associated Christmas with Coca-Cola and it’s unnecessary.”
A spokesperson for Coca-Cola commented: “The Coca-Cola Christmas truck tour provides a moment of fun for the family in the build-up to Christmas and we've had a positive response from many people in Leicester to the news that it will stop there this year.
"People will have the opportunity to see the truck up close, have their photograph taken with it and enjoy a small (150ml) can of any of the four Coca-Cola variants we make, which include Diet Coke and Coca-Cola Zero, our no-sugar options.
"We have a policy not to market our products to under-12s, and will therefore not be providing drinks to under-12s unless their parent or guardian is happy for us to do so."