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Mexico Isn’t Buying Coca-Cola’s ‘Healthy Lifestyle’ Spin, Either

It’s not just Michael Bloomberg, guys—our neighbor to the south doesn’t seem fazed by Coke‘s latest “soda can be part of a healthy, active lifestyle” message either.

As Coca-Cola looks to offset diminishing American sales by targeting other areas, public advocacy organizations within Mexico are running PSA campaigns designed to warn the public about the dangers of soda consumption. It’s especially relevant this summer: Mexico, which is second to the U.S. in soda consumption per capita, surpassed us in June to become the most obese of the world’s major economies.

See a pattern developing here?

The PSAs include such head-turning headlines as “Would you eat 12 spoonfuls of sugar? Why do you drink soda?” While that’s not quite as bold as New York’s “Don’t drink yourself fat” campaign, we get the point—and it’s bad news for Coke.

For the record, they’re sticking with the “we can be good for you” message. A spokeswoman for the company’s Mexican operations told The Wall Street Journal that its products are “healthy and can be integrated into a correct diet, combined with an active lifestyle”, noting that bottled water and seltzer account for nearly half of the company’s sales. But the Mexican government isn’t hearing it—the education department has urged concessions companies not to sell Coke in schools, and a senator recently proposed a bill to place a 20% tax on soda purchases.

Oh, and El Poder del Consumidor, the consumer advocacy group behind the ads, receives funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies, a group started by…you guessed it, everyone’s favorite nosey mayor.

Big Soda may have killed the SodaStream ads, but we don’t think they’ll get these campaigns canned for “denigration of the bottled drinks market“. It’s shaping up to be a big challenge for sellers of carbonated sugar water.

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