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Coca-Cola addresses obesity issue in France with advertising campaign

PARIS - Coca-Cola has run an advertising campaign in France outlining its commitment to combating obesity and promising to include more nutritional information on its packaging.

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The campaign ran as a full-page ad in major French newspapers in November. It outlined four ways in which Coca-Cola says it is working to combat the problem of obesity, including offering a number of lower calorie options and the fact it promotes sports in France.

The strategy of outlining how it is fighting obesity is not something that has been seen in the UK.

The French ad campaign also says that Coca-Cola does not run ads during programmes with core audiences under the age of 12 in France.

The brand is following in the footsteps of other multinational companies accused of contributing to poor health and weight gain, such as McDonald's and KFC. They have altered their menus to introduce healthier items, such as salads and fruit juices, alongside their deep-fried products.

In the UK, Coke recently unveiled a restructure that will see it focus on healthier drinks, with the creation of a health and wellness arm.

It has taken a similar approach in Asia, with a division dubbed HAL, which stands for healthy and active lifestyle. This also included an ad campaign that gave consumers advice such as "move your butt" and "sweat it out".

But at the same time as responding to accusations that it is contributing to the health crisis sweeping the world, Coca-Cola is dealing with its own problems -- namely falling sales of fizzy pop.

It recently appointed Wieden & Kennedy to handle global advertising for the main Coke brand. It has been reported that Coca-Cola wants to create an international campaign that will replicate the success of the classic 1970s 'I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing' advertising.

It was also revealed recently that Jack White, one half of the White Stripes, is to write a jingle that will appear in a Coke ad. The singer, whose girth has been notably expanding of late, told a website that he used to drink six cans of the fizzy pop every day.

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