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Some of America’s Top Brands are Leading Culprits in the Obesity Epidemic

You know advertising is a big deal when there’s such a thing as Advertising Week in the U.S. While few consumers took note, the event is happening this week in New York with the goal of identifying how brands sold by marketers can produce better business results.

A study released yesterday identified which brands are the most powerful and how they’re getting it right. Additionally, the study pointed out the problems of brands whose value is on the decline.

As reported by Yahoo Finance, the study is the 13th annual Best Global Brands report from Interbrand – an Omnicon Group-owned brand consulting company. The result of the study was a ranking of the top 100 most valuable brands based on measures such as financial performance, how the brand influences consumer choices, and its ability to boost its parent company’s earnings.

The best global brands of 2012 include 1) Coca-Cola, 2) Apple, 3) IBM, 4) Google and 5) Microsoft. Ferrari and Gap round out the list in slots 99 and 100, respectively.

Of the ranking, Christine Fruecthe, president and chief executive at Colle and McVoy advertising agency, believes companies should take note as to what works and what doesn’t when it comes to marketing and advertising their brand. ”When we put together advertising programs, we’re constantly keeping in mind how to add shareholder value,” she said during the Advertising Week panel on Monday. “We want to have a tangible impact on the client’s business or service.”

As an example of their work, Colle and McVoy pointed to their client Caribou Coffee Company whose share value has risen from $1.17 to $18 since beginning work with the agency. The message here? Advertising is powerful, and when done well, it works.

Coca-Cola knows this. The soda company was ranked number one again for the 13th consecutive year. Its estimated brand value? $77.8 billion, up 8 percent from the 2011 report. Coca-Cola executive vice president and chief marketing commercial officer Joseph Tripodi believes this success is due to effective ads, which he suspects will help Coca-Cola increase its revenue from $95 billion in 2008 to $200 billion in 2020.
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Coca-Cola CEO Reacts to Mayor Bloomberg’s Soda Ban

Muhtar Kent, CEO of Coca-Cola, recently spoke out on allegations of his company being responsible for the obesity epidemic in the U.S. Kent’s responses come weeks after New York City Mayor Bloomberg proposed to limit the consumption of sugary drinks over 16 ounces. Mayor Bloomberg’s efforts to help lower obesity rates is making headlines across the country. Bloomberg’s proposal will change the sugary drink game for any restaurant, fast-food chain, and any place of business that offers beverages.

Kent says Coca-Cola is not responsible in any way for the rising obesity rates and that obesity is a societal issue. “It is, I believe, incorrect and unjust to put the blame on any single ingredient, any single product, any single category of food,” was Kent’s response to Bloomberg’s proposal.
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Coca-Cola Changes Formula Rather than Add Cancer Warnings

A new law has caused Coca-Cola to reformulate their soda.

According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), the compounds in the caramel coloring in many soft drinks has been shown to cause lung, liver, and thyroid cancer in lab mice and rats. Because of these findings, the CSPI has called on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban the use of caramel coloring. The guilty ingredients are 2-methylimidazole (2-MEI) and 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI). These compounds form when sugar is mixed with ammonia and sulfites. It may not effect the flavor, but it creates the caramel, or brown color.

This year the state of California determined that 4-MEI qualified as a carcinogen. Because of this ruling, companies using that coloring compound would be required to print cancer warnings on their packages or reformulate their products. Further, the CSPI said their recent lab studies found that the 4-MEI levels in many 12-ounce sodas exceeded the 29 microgram limit set by California law.

“The body of science about 4-MEI in foods or beverages does not support the erroneous allegations that CSPI would like the public to believe,” said a Coca-Cola representative. “The 4-MEI levels in our products pose no health or safety risks.”

Regardless of the debate, Coca-Cola has decided to change its manufacturing process rather than print cancer warnings on their drinks.


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Brad Pitt Pushes Coke on Kids for Breakfast [VIDEO]

For people so active in helping the children of the world, it seems Brad Pitt and long-time partner Angelina Jolie aren’t making the health of their own a priority.

In an interview on CBS Sunday Morning that aired today, Brad opened up about his family, saying he “couldn’t imagine life without any of them.” He also shared that the couple’s brood of six children travels the world with them, wherever their gigs take them. Because of the often harried schedule, not to mention ushering eight people out the door, Brad admitted they turn to a pretty unhealthy breakfast and energy solution.

“Listen, I admit there’s times like, ‘We gotta get up. Get up! Here’s your shoes. Here’s your shoes. Drink this Coke. Drink this Coca Cola. Drink it all. Right now! Drink it! Drink it! Drink it! Just so we could get ‘em up and going,” Pitt said.

Coke for breakfast? Come on Brad and Angelina! That’s not good for either of you, much less six young, growing children. You may not realize it, but the foundation is already laid. You’re showing them that making time for themselves isn’t a priority, nor is starting their day with a healthy breakfast. Hurrying out the door? Give them an apple to eat in the car (which has been found to give us more energy than a cup of coffee).
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