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Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola rewards program may be hazardous for children, says weight loss instructor

Friday, July 14, 2006 by: NewsTarget
Tags: Coca-Cola, consumerism, soft drinks


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(NewsTarget) A St. Louis weight loss instructor is suing Cola-Cola over their "My Coke Rewards" program. Julia Harvey says the program could persuade children to drink hazardous quantities of the product.

The program rewards Coca-Cola consumers with points for each product they buy, which can be redeemed for prizes such as free vacations. The problem, Harvey says, is that the contest ends in January, and a Coke drinker would have to consume more than 100 cans a day to obtain enough points for some of the prizes.

Harvey's lawyer, Albert Watkins, says, "You will die before you can consume all those products."

The suit was brought against the famous beverage brand out of a sense of moral obligation, according to Harvey, who is not seeking monetary compensation. Instead she wants a permanent injunction to force the company to drop the campaign. She said she would also drop the suit if Coca-Cola altered or dropped their promotion voluntarily, restricted it to adults, or changed the advertising to highlight the fact that consumers do not have to drink the beverage to get points.

Scott Williamson, spokesman for Coca-Cola, called the lawsuit "frivolous and ridiculous." He says that customers also can obtain points a number of other ways, including sharing cases of Coca-Cola with friends or winning up to 50,000 points from online contests. He added that most of the prizes require fewer than 100 points and 99 percent require fewer than 5,000.

According to Williamson, the company has no plans to alter its "My Coke Rewards" promotion.

Coca-Cola is the same company that once launched a, "Just say no to H2O" campaign to discourage restaurant customers from drinking water. The program has since been abandoned as Coke rolled out its own water beverage product (Dasani).

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