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New Face of the Cola Wars: Industry Takes on Soda Tax Proposals

Everybody loves a showdown about controversial legislation. No, we're not talking about the Arizona immigration law debate, but the several local proposals to tax sodas and other sugary delicious drinks.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has come out in favor of Governor David Paterson's proposal for a state tax of one cent per ounce. Some New Yorkers don't care for the idea. Particularly some corporate New Yorkers, like Pepsico, which reportedly suspended plans to expand its world headquarters in Harrison, N.Y., and has workers at its Queens plant engaging in good old-fashioned rallying.

The tv ads have been coming fast and furious, as well. Here are two of my favorites, one from each side, of course.

First, the pro-tax ad:

In a nutshell, the message here is: "Your kids will get fat and die unless this tax passes."

And here is the anti-tax ad:

I call this one: "Poor people like soda and are gonna buy it anyway, possibly instead of the over-the-counter cough medicine they're using to try to cure their children's bronchitis, because they can't afford health insurance."

It's riveting stuff. Now, the industry is mounting a campaign against a similar Washington, D.C., proposal. And the radio ad on the No D.C. Beverage Tax site may be my favorite yet.

What do you think, readers? Is a proposed soda tax legit because of the noble aim of encouraging citizens to make healthier choices? Or should government stay out of our cup holders?

Posted by Eric Lipman on May 14, 2010 at 11:20 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)


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