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New Ad Viciously Spoofs Iconic Coke Commercial to Stress Soda Risks

Coca-Cola’s 1971 “Hilltop” ad helped redefine the soda for a new generation. Now, doctors hope their version can do the same.

image via youtube screen capture

When it first aired in 1971, Coca-Cola’s “Hilltop” ad was the most expensive commercial ever recorded, launching not only the careers of The Hillside Singers, but also a new era in advertising altogether. It has since gone down in history as one of the most effective commercials of all time, earning both industry accolades, and a coveted spot as the ultimate Don Draper creation in the final moments of TV’s Mad Men. Armed with a message of global feel-good-ness and an impossibly catchy jingle, Coke’s Hilltop commercial sold more than just bottles of pop (though it sold plenty of those)—it sold a lifestyle in which the product became synonymous with multi-cultural good vibes. And who wouldn’t want to get some of that?

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Soda Bans Coming to Los Angeles, Cambridge?

Cities across the country seem to be following NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg's lead. Officials in LA and Cambridge proposed partial soda bans this week.

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Cola Wars: The Big Loopholes Dooming Bloomberg's Soda Ban

Despite successful public-health projects under his belt, Bloomberg and his hubris may be looking at a big failure.


In another effort to attack obesity (and libertarianism) in New York City, three-term Mayor Michael Bloomberg is attempting to institute a ban on sodas in the city. Under Bloomberg's plan, it would be illegal for "food-service establishments" like mall food courts, delis, sports arenas, and food carts to sell sodas and other sugar-laden drinks in cups or bottles larger than 16 ounces. The ban could take effect as early as March of next year, at which point New Yorkers can say goodbye to giant glasses of Coke in restaurants. Say goodbye to 20-ounce sodas from the bodega on those sweltering summer afternoons.

Naturally, Bloomberg is facing blowback from many Americans who feel like he's restricting freedom. "[I]t is patently absurd for Bloomberg to claim he is not limiting freedom when he uses force to stop people from doing something that violates no one's rights, whether it's selling donuts fried in trans fat, lighting up in a bar whose owner has chosen to allow smoking on his own property, or ordering a 20-ounce soda in a deli," Jacob Sullum wrote in Reason, referencing Bloomberg's past bans on smoking and trans fats.

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Spider Webs and the Battle Over Federal Caffeine Limits

One hundred years ago, the predecessor of the FDA had no data on how caffeine affects humans. Unbelievably, the same is pretty much true today.


A fascinating article in Monday's New York Times looks at the long debate over safe limits for caffeine consumption in the United States. "Long" in this instance means 100 years—journalist Murray Carpenter tells the story of the USDA vs. Coca-Cola, which went to trial a century ago this month.

At the time, Coke contained 80 milligrams of caffeine per serving, as much as a Red Bull today. To defend themselves against the government's charge that caffeine was a harmful ingredient, they hired a scientist to look at the effects of the stimulant on the mental and motor skills of both abstainers, occasional, and heavy users. No one had gathered this kind of data before.

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