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Issue Date: Vol. 57, No. 1, January 2017, Posted On: 1/9/2017

Consumer Watchdog Sues Coca-Cola For Alleged Deceptive Marketing

Emily Jed
TAGS: vending, soda vending, Praxis Project, Coke lawsuit, Coca-Cola Co., American Beverage Association, sugar-sweetened beverages

OAKLAND, CA -- Praxis Project, a California-based consumer advocacy group, is suing Coca-Cola Co. and the American Beverage Association over alleged false and misleading marketing of sugar-sweetened beverages.

The lawsuit, filed in a California district court by Praxis, alleges Coca-Cola "deceives consumers about their health impact." Praxis Project also accused ABA, Coke and other beverage companies of funding and assisting in the effort to allegedly mislead the public about the health implications of soda, which some studies have linked to type 2 diabetes and obesity.

The Praxis Project lawsuit, which seeks a jury trial, aims to prove Coke violated the Fair Advertising Law in its marketing and wants the defendants to fund a "corrective public education campaign to reduce the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages."

It also calls for the defendants to prominently post on their websites that the "consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages can lead to obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease."

Both Coca-Cola and the ABA have refuted the allegations. Coke emphasized its efforts to offer more low- or no-calorie products. The beverage giant said that since 2014, it has launched more than 100 new low- or no-calorie drinks.

The ABA in a separate statement said that American beverage companies "know we have an important role to play in addressing our nation's health challenges. That's why we're engaging with health groups and community organizations to drive a reduction in the sugar and calories Americans get from beverages."

Interestingly, Praxis Project's lawsuit doesn't name PepsiCo or Dr Pepper as defendants.

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