Critical Coca-Cola ad by Greenpeace banned from TV

A TV ad which attacks Coca-Cola for trying to stop a recycling scheme in Australia has been stopped from airing on TV. In recent weeks Greenpeace has been campaigning in support of the implementation of nationwide 10-cents-a-bottle recycling scheme in Australia. The environmental organization has called the scheme "a no brainer" and they've been critical of Coca-Cola's efforts to undermine and stop the recycling legislation.

Last week Greenpeace raised $20,000 in donations in just one day to get the TV ad, which attacks Coca-Cola for lobbying against the recycling scheme, shown during Channel Nine's Friday Night Football broadcast in Australia. But the ad was pulled just minutes before it was supposed to air after being deemed "too offensive" by the channel. Greenpeace quickly blamed Coca-Cola and other beverage makers for putting pressure on Channel Nine to stop the ad from airing.

"They took the money and now they've bottled it," Greenpeace's Reece Turner said. "Coke has been accused of bullying politicians into blocking cash for containers. It's a reasonable assumption their influence is behind Channel Nine's last-minute choking."

Seabirds and other animals often mistake plastics with food. These plastic objects slowly fills their stomachs over time until they are unable to ingest any real food. A slow death by starvation then follows for these poor seabirds. In Australia, this plastic rubbish is estimated to affect up to 65% of the seabird population. And Coca-Cola is currently trying to fight legislation that is key to fixing this problem. This short ad by Greenpeace exposes how Coca-Cola, even though being a longtime supporter of WWF, is willing to let plastic pollution trash our oceans and kill our marine life.

Despite being banned from TV, Greenpeace's campaign is still making waves. The actual ad has been seen over 700,000 times and is the most shared video in Australia. And now shareholders has started to question Coca-Cola's efforts to stop a national Cash for Containers scheme. During an annual meeting in Sydney, Coca-Cola Chairman David Gonski called the scheme "old fashioned", inefficient and warned that it would increase the price of soft drinks. But his comments were challenged by shareholders as well as protesters outside the meeting.

"What's wrong with old fashioned?" one shareholder asked. "We have container deposit legislation in South Australia and only 4% of containers are found in litter. That's a stark contrast to the 40% of containers in the eastern states."

By blocking the ad from airing on TV, Channel Nine have successfully given Greenpeace's campaign more media attention. And in the end Coca-Cola is the one who will suffer the most from the public backlash that follows.


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Simon Leufstedt
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