With all of the advertising which surrounds us each day and the current societal push toward healthy living, is it any wonder that Coca-Cola and other companies are capitalizing on both by paying nutritionists to say their products are healthy?
During the month of February, Coca-Cola attempted to work with fitness and nutrition experts who would tout their products as treats in an otherwise healthy lifestyle. To do this, Coke had its public relations gurus suggest to nutritionists and bloggers that they might see what they could “fit in” in endorse a Coke product.
In fact, media outlets, which are supposed to be objective news outlets, are said to have run the information provided in a “sponsored” piece. This is deceptive and misleading, and Ray Lane said the ethics of the companies which seek to pay others for increased sales are questionable. Sure, it is the nature of the corporate and advertising beasts, but is it really beneficial to consumers and the public at large to be told, for instance, that a sugary drink is a recommended part of a healthy diet?
It appears that consumers have to now become aware not just of the messages of overt paid advertising, but also of the messages being subsidized by companies through bloggers and nutritionists willing to sell their “expertise” to benefit their own bottom lines. Yet, the consumer’s bottom line may expand when following “purchased” recommendations.