NDTV is running a Coca Cola NDTV campaign. NDTV states the purpose of this campaign as
In keeping with the NDTV philosophy of promoting critical issues, NDTV in partnership with Coca-Cola India, CAF & UN-Habitat launched the SUPPORT MY SCHOOL campaign on the 24th of January, 2011. This is a nationwide attempt to create Awareness on Water and Sanitation, Environment, Healthy Active Living.
The stated purpose of the campaign is Noble indeed but Media Watch is concerned about long term effect of such campaigns of young Children
Harmful effects of carbonated softdrinks is well documented. This is what Wikipedia states
most nutritionists advise that Coca-Cola and other soft drinks can be harmful if consumed excessively, particularly to young children whose soft drink consumption competes with, rather than complements, a balanced diet. Studies have shown that regular soft drink users have a lower intake of calcium, magnesium,ascorbic acid, riboflavin, and vitamin A. The drink has also aroused criticism for its use of caffeine, which can cause physical dependence. A link has been shown between long-term regular cola intake and osteoporosis in older women (but not men). This was thought to be due to the presence of phosphoric acid, and the risk was found to be same for caffeinated and noncaffeinated colas, as well as the same for diet and sugared colas.
As part of the campaign, Depicted on the school building itself is a giant poster that identifies Coca-Cola as the sponsor of this campaign.
Does this not constitute advertising of Coca-cola to young children? Is it not responsibility of corporates who run such campaigns to educated the young Kids on harmful effects of such drinks?
It is interesting to note that CSR policy of coca cola states
We have a global Responsible Marketing Policy that covers all our beverages, and we do not market any products directly to children under 12. This means we will not buy advertising directly targeted at audiences that are more than 35% children under 12. Our policy applies to television, radio, and print, and, where data is available, to the Internet and mobile phones.
In 2010, we evolved our global Responsible Marketing Policy and redefined the appropriate audience threshold for children's programming from audiences that are more than 50% children younger than 12 years of age to audiences that are more than 35% children younger than 12. This means we will not buy advertising directly targeted at audiences that are more than 35% children younger than 12. Our policy applies to all of our beverages and the media outlets we use, including television, radio and print and, where data is available, Internet and mobile phones.
NDTV should clarify on whether it has taken precautions to educate young children on harmful effects of consumption of softdrinks such as coca cola?
Also, NDTV should clarify whether this campaign is in compliance with stated CSR policy of Coca Cola?