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Boycott Coca Cola?


Gringo
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Coca Cola - good or bad  

31 members have voted

  1. 1. Coca Cola - good or bad

    • BAD Destroying the planet
      17
    • GOOD Teaching the world to sing
      14


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Mark Thomas currently preaching on C4....here's an earlier piece.

Mark Thomas - won't give the world a Coke

As Jamie Oliver whizzes around on his Vespa of health and schools knock the sale of fizzy drinks on the head, Coke is in a bind

Tonight With Trevor McDonald is not something that some folk admit to watching. Mainly people don't admit to watching it because it is rubbish. And in any case, they don't watch it. Tonight With . . . is less a current-affairs flagship and more of a Herald of Free Enterprise ferry - big, brash and lying on its side in the harbour.

However, I was moved to watch the "Has Coke lost its fizz?" programme. Coca-Cola's recent story is one of stumbling growth, partly explained by a crash in sales of fizzy drinks. But it is also connected to a product so sugary that Kate Moss could double her body weight by drinking one can, to stories of trade unionists murdered by paramilitaries in Colombia, and to drought-stricken villages in India.

The programme went out on 6 March, after being pulled from the schedules at the last minute and delayed for a week. According to the ITV duty office this was due to "compliance" issues. Granada's press office says it was "technical" problems. Whatever the reason, Coca-Cola is having a bad time - and really knows it is when a programme such as Tonight With Trevor comes lumbering after it.

The fizzy drinks market has begun to collapse. In a troubled seven-year period from 1998 to 2005, the company's share price halved. The figures out for last year's sales show only 1 per cent growth for Coca-Cola Enterprises UK, which is bad news for Coke. Even the company was forced to admit its problems: "Our business growth is not what we would hope." The 170 redundancies it announced in January are a more accurate reflection of its woes.

As Jamie Oliver whizzes around on his Vespa of health, as schools knock the sale of fizzy drinks on the head, and as Britain gets the health-food bug, Coke has taken a pounding. Its attempts to get into the UK's bottled-water market were fantastically farcical. Dasani, the brand name forever associated with Peckham Spring, was found to be Kent tap water with some minerals in it. Whereas there is nothing wrong with tap water - or, indeed, with Coca-Cola adding a few minerals and salts to it - punters felt disinclined to pay a quid for a bottle of the stuff.

Following a media storm over the ingredients, Dasani was withdrawn from the market, with no plans to relaunch it in this country. Which leaves Coca-Cola in a bind: more people are opting for water than fizzy drinks, but the company's water brand is even deader than Tessa Jowell's career. So how is the company going to break into the water market?

Step forward Aquarius, a lemon-flavoured non-carbonated drink that happens to sell rather well in Spain. Coca-Cola has been testing punters' reactions to it in the UK. Marketed in trusty natural-blue hues - the bottled-water seller's favourite - and with a bottle design associated with sports and health drinks, the new product is, according to some close to the company, ready to launch in the summer.

Paradoxically, Coca-Cola has just launched its answer to Red Bull, Relentless, which carries the warning "Not suitable for pregnant women". This, you might think, runs slightly counter to a healthy image. But then Coke has never been all about making the world a healthier place.

As if the company didn't have enough on its plate, along came intriguing scenes at War on Want's annual general meeting on 25 February. The charity's council had decided to support the call for a boycott of Coca-Cola in protest at the killing by paramilitaries of workers at Coke bottling plants in Colombia.

Members of the trade union Amicus turned up in force to oppose the planned ban, handing out leaflets stating that they had "consulted with the workers in Colombia and have been assured by them that they do not support a call for a boycott". Obviously, these people have not spoken to the Colombian trade union Sinaltrainal, which initiated the call for a boycott following the deaths of a number of its members.

Stranger still was the presence of the public relations man Douglas Trainer, seen sitting and chatting with the Amicus bloc. Trainer is a PR man consulted by Coca-Cola (in an advisory capacity, it is keen to stress). So what was a PR man with connections to Coke doing at a War on Want AGM? Was he a member? "Yes," said Trainer. So when did he join? "Thursday." Two days before the AGM.

When advisers to Coca-Cola are joining charities two days before crucial votes that will affect Coke, things appear a tad desperate for the company.

So why all the shenanigans at the War on Want AGM?

Trainer is an ex-president of the National Union of Students. Coke currently faces a major NUS conference vote on the issue of boycotting the company. As Coca-Cola's contract with the student purchasing body NUSL is up for renewal, advocates of a boycott are using the opportunity to force a vote. Has Trainer been asked to steer the company through the choppy waters of the NUS vote? Coca-Cola did not comment on this suggestion.

The event is already causing the company some concern, regardless of the outcome. The last thing it needs is War on Want lining up alongside Unison as supporters of the boycott and creating any kind of momentum on the issue.

And after all they made santa wear a red coat [© bicks]

So what do you think? Are the fun loving bubbly nazi sponsoring organisation an actor for good or for evil in the world.

Should we boycott coke or ignore the threats of massive global organisations squashing people worldwide?

Coca-cola - good or bad?

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I must admit I enjoy the occasional Coke (though I usually stick with Pepsi Max to avoid the sugar), but I'm strongly in favour of making it far less accessible for people in general and kids in particular.

So I don't know what to vote, as I enjoy drinking it but would welcome any action taken to reduce the general consumption of it.

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Yet again because some people are to idiotic to decide when they have had enough of something the rest of us have to have our choices restricted.

Coca-cola in responsible amounts isn't going to end the world.

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Yet again because some people are to idiotic to decide when they have had enough of something the rest of us have to have our choices restricted.

Coca-cola in responsible amounts isn't going to end the world.

I feel you may have missed the point.

The article nor the program referenced peoples favourite choice, nor obesity induced by eating bucketfulls ful of sugar.

The reasons behind boycotting coca cola is that they exploit child labour in the third world whilst damaging the environment those same children have to live in. A multi-national, mutli-billion pound company exploiting people not because they have to but because that's the easiest, cheapest way to achieve global domination. A dirty stinking company who poison people to make a buck.

But I suppose that's just the same for all the other brands we consume so we can't do much about it, so what harm does it do if I just have another coke. Same with the environment, bugger all point me buying low-energy light bulbs when the chinese are building seven coal burning plants every day, etc.

Bad nasty company, should suffer if the market is supposed to work. If they don't suffer, either the market doesn't work or it's rigged by the people with big enough pockets to influence it.

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I would vote, but I don't understand the options. :huh:
Sorry can't edit the options once someone else has posted, should really have read:

BAD Destroying the planet

GOOD Teaching the world to sing

it does now. Mods are omnipresent and omnipotent (in our own minds). Burp. Blandy

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Should we boycott coke or ignore the threats of massive global organisations squashing people worldwide?

Because all big companies are inherently evil aren't they. Never mind that provide jobs for thousands of people, make massive contributions to the economy where ever they are set up and in many cases spread wealth to poorer areas of the world by outsourcing factories and other parts of the business. They make a big profit so must be evil.

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Should we boycott coke or ignore the threats of massive global organisations squashing people worldwide?

Because all big companies are inherently evil aren't they. Never mind that provide jobs for thousands of people, make massive contributions to the economy where ever they are set up and in many cases spread wealth to poorer areas of the world by outsourcing factories and other parts of the business. They make a big profit so must be evil.
Nope. But when they poison rivers and exploit child labour and when it's pointed it out to them and their response is to brush it under the carpet they should be targetted.

And in some few cases they spread some wealth to poorer areas, but in reality most of the (vast majority of the) generated wealth ends up in the pockets of the big buck guys, not in the pockets of the poor people who have the corporate brand imposed upon them.

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Should we boycott coke or ignore the threats of massive global organisations squashing people worldwide?

Because all big companies are inherently evil aren't they. Never mind that provide jobs for thousands of people, make massive contributions to the economy where ever they are set up and in many cases spread wealth to poorer areas of the world by outsourcing factories and other parts of the business. They make a big profit so must be evil.

Saying global big corporate capitalism has some very dangerous sides to it is not the same as saying all big companies are inherently evil. I'm personally in favour of globalisation, and accept the necessity of capitalist means of production. At the same time, there is no doubt in my mind that a host of international corporations need to fundamentally reconsider their ethics and accept that they have a social responsability in the middle of all the profit thinking.

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I switched to diet about 3 years ago and after about a month i couldnt stand the syruppy taste of the normal stuff. Though on a hot day over alot of ice it does still do the business.

Now i'm concerned about the diet verion too as there are growing fears about that artificial sweetener they use - aspartame i think, off the top of my head.

I wouldnt say i've boycotted the drink deliberately but i hardly ever touch it now. With the added suspicions over the company....yeah i may just stop drinking it on principle.

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Danwichmann wrote:

Quote:

Should we boycott coke or ignore the threats of massive global organisations squashing people worldwide?

Because all big companies are inherently evil aren't they. Never mind that provide jobs for thousands of people, make massive contributions to the economy where ever they are set up and in many cases spread wealth to poorer areas of the world by outsourcing factories and other parts of the business. They make a big profit so must be evil.

Saying global big corporate capitalism has some very dangerous sides to it is not the same as saying all big companies are inherently evil. I'm personally in favour of globalisation, and accept the necessity of capitalist means of production. At the same time, there is no doubt in my mind that a host of international corporations need to fundamentally reconsider their ethics and accept that they have a social responsability in the middle of all the profit thinking.

I agree, some companies need to be kept in check. (Neslte and other companies selling baby food where it is going to mixed with bad water being the obvious example) But there seems to be a massive chunk of people who have the opinion that all globalisation and big business is bad.

Danwichmann wrote:

Quote:

Should we boycott coke or ignore the threats of massive global organisations squashing people worldwide?

Because all big companies are inherently evil aren't they. Never mind that provide jobs for thousands of people, make massive contributions to the economy where ever they are set up and in many cases spread wealth to poorer areas of the world by outsourcing factories and other parts of the business. They make a big profit so must be evil.

Nope. But when they poison rivers and exploit child labour and when it's pointed it out to them and their response is to brush it under the carpet they should be targetted.

And in some few cases they spread some wealth to poorer areas, but in reality most of the (vast majority of the) generated wealth ends up in the pockets of the big buck guys, not in the pockets of the poor people who have the corporate brand imposed upon them.

It's not so long ago that Thailand was full of sweat shops with, compared to the Western would be considered appalling. Now I believe they have a GDP comparable to Spain's. It's a part of industrial revolution and needed to attract FDI, without which any under developed country will struggle to grow. And people in these sweat shops may be subjected to what we would consider unacceptable conditions, but who are we to say that working for 10 cents a day is really worse than a child having to work on farm or their family, or worse young girls being sent out to prostitute themselves for a family that desperately needs money. The majority of profit does end up back whatever global corporation has put the FDI in place, but why should that matter if the country t(and the people of that country) are still getting richer than they previously were from it?

I believe that globalisation and FDI by large multinational companies has done a lot more for bringing people out of poverty than any amount of charity ever will.

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think i will stick with ribenia light

which also contains aspartame ..the one and the same ingredient of coke that is going to give you cancer

I'll stick to Pepsi max as I've never seen an overweight lab rat and they drink it all the time

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Coke can go the way of McDonalds, large financial losses and stock panic.

I have to say I wish more people stopped their coke habits (and the diet/full coke debate is stupid) companies need to act within the law and not feel above it.

Too many resources are being lost to our luxury lifestyles and water is clearly one of them.

Coke may put money back, but it is nothing to them, and the absolute minimum they could put in and defend their position.

Besides that it is massively unhealthy and far too powerful. People are scared to challenge them and maybe the system for large multi nationals need to change completely.

Until someone says, hey, you are making enough money and are taking enough out we will never see the real benefits.

Coke is too big, and out addiction is too. Its not fair to start a smear campaign or to criticise just coke for their health irresponsibility, but it is fair to say 'unlucky, your taxes are going up and so is the money you are putting back into the communities you affect'.

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