Leading beverage companies unite in industry ad campaign

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The American Beverage Association (A.B.A.) has launched a $10 million national print and digital advertising campaign to educate school administrators, policymakers and parents about the beverage industry’s new School Beverage Guidelines. The campaign, funded by The Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo, Inc. and Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages, began Sept. 7 in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, The Hill and Roll Call, as well as in newspapers in targeted states throughout the country.

"The advertising campaign will educate school officials, policymakers and parents about the new School Beverage Guidelines," said Susan K. Neely, president and chief executive officer of the A.B.A. "Students will now have a broad range of lower-calorie nutritious beverages in the right portion size for their age. Our industry stepped up to do its part to strengthen school wellness and is working with schools to implement the guidelines. Raising awareness about the guidelines will make it easier to accomplish this."

The School Beverage Guidelines were developed in May as part of a collaborative effort between the United States’ leading beverage companies and Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a joint initiative of the William J. Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association.

During the next 12 weeks, the A.B.A. ads will appear in newspapers, magazines and professional trade publications of the education, health and public policy fields. Created by BBDO in New York City, the ads feature students in common settings talking in an uncommon way about nutrition. The ad copy acknowledges the concern schools, policymakers, parents and industry have about students’ nutrition and goes on to describe the Guidelines and their impact on students and schools.

"This is the first time the three major beverage companies have united on an industry ad campaign," Ms. Neely said. "This industry is clearly committed to doing its part for school wellness."

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