Coca-Cola plans to run an ad defending the low- and no-calorie sweeteners, like aspartame, used in its drinks. The ad, dubbed "Quality and Ingredients," will run in USA Today in the Atlanta area as well as in the Atlanta Journal Constitution and the Chicago Tribune this month.
Created by Citizen 2, the ad features the headline, "Quality Products You Can Always Feel Good About" alongside a photo of a smiling woman and teen. Copy in the ad addresses the idea that some consumers have concerns about low- and no-calorie sweeteners, like aspartame. The ad goes on to defend those sweeteners as "safe, high-quality alternatives to sugar." Aspartame in particular has been supported by more than 200 studies over the past 40 years, according to the ad.
The ad is just the latest effort by the company to take a leadership role in the obesity and health and wellness debate. Earlier this year the company launched two ads featuring a "calories in, calories out" message, in an attempt to address critics who believe its products contribute to obesity. As part of its efforts in the health and wellness arena, Coca-Cola has also been emphasizing its 180 low- and no-calorie beverages.
"We believe there is a real opportunity to bring people together to educate them about low- and no- calorie sweeteners," a Coca-Cola spokesman said in a statement. "Low- and no-calorie sweeteners offer a great way for people to manage their calories while still enjoying the sweet taste that they love. We understand, though, that some people have questions about these ingredients, especially aspartame. We felt it was important for us to answer these questions and reinforce that these are ingredients people can feel good about."