Todd Putman is the former Coca-Cola insider who is making headlines The Washington Post profiled him and covered his appearance at the National Soda Summit in Washington, D.C., as well as prior interviews. Formerly the head of U.S. marketing for Coca Cola, he now is speaking with candor about his experience as a part of the corporation’s marketing operation. He said there was one goal, “How can we drive more ounces into more bodies more often?” — and that this was called “share of stomach.” It is a chilling tale of the extent to which the company seeks to manipulate the consumer. Read the full article here.
The National Soda Summit — a gathering of public health and government officials from around the country, sponsored by CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest) — was held on June 7-8, 2012 and is timely, occurring just days after New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed a soda ban — on larger sized containers of soft drinks — which has led to discussion both pro and con and an immediate awareness of the surrounding public health crisis of rising obesity and diabetes rates. He himself defended the ban in a recent interview on the Today Show; you can see story and video at Today.com
Likewise is Todd Pitman’s emergence to let the public know about the behind-the-scene marketing to get more people drinking more soft drinks more often. These sugary drinks were previously believed to be full of “empty calories” but now we are learning more and more from research in recent years about how sugar impacts the body; these “empty calories” are actually quite damaging. In the words of Robert Lustig, M.D., a leading advocate sounding the warning about sugar, that it is nothing less than toxic, due to its negative metabolic effects on the body, some of which were discussed recently on 60 Minutes, featuring Dr. Lustig.
Todd Pitman was featured on Good Morning America on Sat. June 9, 2012; watch video below.
As for the future plans of Todd Pitman, N.C. Aizenman of The Check-Up has the story of how he plans to beat the soft drink industry at its own game. See the full article here. It’s a fascinating read, as he deconstructs public service announcements and shows why they are not as effective as the contrasting seductive advertising of soft drink companies, and how better to present the message. Check out below what he has done to make baby carrots as appealing as junk food to see an example of the former Coca Cola insider’s approach.
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