Coke to defend aspartame's safety in new ad
NEW YORK -- Coca-Cola plans to run its first ad defending the safety of artificial sweeteners on Wednesday, a move that comes as the company looks to stem declining sales of diet soda.
The print ad is set to run in USA Today in the Atlanta area, followed by the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Thursday and the Chicago Tribune next week. It says that diet drinks can help people manage their weight and stresses the scientific evidence showing the safety of aspartame, which is more commonly known under the NutraSweet brand name.
The ad represents the next phase of a campaign Coca-Cola Co. launched in January to push back at critics who blame its sugary drinks for fueling obesity rates. The first wave of ads outlined the company's commitment to fighting obesity and pointed to the many diet options it offers. Now Coca-Cola is trying to reassure people that those lower-calorie drinks aren't harmful.
The fading popularity of soft drinks in the U.S. has been a long-running trend, given worries that the sugary fizz makes people fat. But more recently, people have been pulling back on diet soda as well, signaling that concerns about soda go beyond just weight gain.