Published: June 2012

ID #: 68240

Journal: PLoS Med

Authors: Dorfman L, Cheyne A, Friedman LC, Wadud A, Gottlieb M

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This article examines prominent cases from corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts by soda industry leaders PepsiCo and Coca-Cola and compares them with tobacco industry CSR campaigns. Researchers found that major soda manufacturers have recently employed elaborate, expensive, multinational CSR campaigns. The campaigns echo the tobacco industry’s use of CSR to focus responsibility on consumers rather than on the corporation, bolster the popularity of the companies and their products, and to prevent regulation. Unlike tobacco CSR campaigns, soda company CSR campaigns explicitly aim to increase sales, including among youth. Researchers also found that in response to health concerns about their products, soda companies appear to have launched CSR campaigns earlier than the tobacco industry did.

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