Australia's consumer regulator has ordered Coca-Cola to publish corrections after it claimed in "unacceptable" ads that health risks from the soft drink were a myth, the watchdog said Thursday.
The newspaper ads, which ran nationally last October and targeted mothers, said it was untrue that Coke could make you fat, rot your teeth or was packed with caffeine, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said.
"Coke's messages were totally unacceptable, creating an impression which is likely to mislead that Coca-Cola cannot contribute to weight gain, obesity and tooth decay," it said.
The watchdog said the company had agreed to publish corrective ads in papers as well as a website table comparing the caffeine levels of its drinks in comparison with tea and instant coffee.
Gareth Edgecombe, managing director of Coca-Cola South Pacific, confirmed that it would publish new adverts to clarify the firm's message.
"We certainly did not intend our message to be misleading and we have been working with the ACCC to address its concerns," he said in a statement.
"The ACCC were concerned we oversimplified some complex topics, and we acknowledge we should have provided more information."
(c) 2009 AFP
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