July 27, 2017  Last Update: December 21, 2016, 11:10 pm

Is Diet Coke Addictive?

Twitter user expresses disbelief that Coca-Cola would apparently connect Diet Coke to cocaine and addiction.

Twitter user expresses disbelief that Coca-Cola would apparently connect Diet Coke to cocaine and addiction.

Did Coca-Cola make a bold move with it’s “On Coke” ads?

The new ad campaign released in New York City contains the phrase “You’re On. Diet Coke”, but due to the placement of the slogan and product, the ads appear to spell out “You’re On Coke”.  Social media fans highlighted the apparent connection to “being on” cocaine right away. Drug addiction treatment professionals have expressed concern that Coca-Cola may be mocking cocaine addiction with the advertisements.

The New York Health Department reports that cocaine is the second most commonly drug used in New York City. People on both sides of the controversy have voiced their opinion regarding the drug-related ad campaign. Ironically, Coca-Cola itself contained cocaine until 1903.

"To my ears it’s like nails on a chalkboard, because obviously I’ve worked with people dealing with addiction."

The controversial ads seem to be doing their job: everyone is talking about Diet Coke this week.

In the New York Times, a spokesperson for Coca-Cola claims the ads are not referring to cocaine addiction, but to the boost of energy that Diet Coke can give you. Stuart Kronauge, General Manager for Coca-Cola, told the New York times that Diet Coke gives you an “uplift for those moments when you really need to be on.” Either way, the reference to “being on” a substance in order to get “an uplift” is not considered to be in good taste. It reminds us of another question Coca-Cola probably doesn’t want us asking…. is Diet Coke addictive?

Resources:

  • ref: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/10/business/media/news-from-the-advertising-industry.html
  • ref: http://gothamist.com/2014/03/02/diet_cokes_latest_ad_strategy_youre.php
  • ref: http://observer.com/2014/03/badvertising-doctors-horrified-by-coca-colas-new-ads-mocking-cocaine-addiction/
  • ref: http://www.health.ny.gov/statistics/sparcs/dprb/docs/110116survey2009drugod.pdf
  • ref: http://www.livescience.com/41975-does-coca-cola-contain-cocaine.html

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