Soda consumption isn't just a health issue — it's a social justice issue. As BMSG's Lori Dorfman points out in this article, soda companies aggressively market to youth of color and do so by exploiting cultural identities, music and images.
Young people of color face steeper risks of diet-related illness and, as BMSG Director Lori Dorfman explains, an avalanche of food marketing targeted at them both online and off. "Marketing," she says, "is integrated in all aspects of their lives."
The soda industry is sparing no expense in its opposition to a proposed tax in San Francisco. A new study from BMSG, which reveals the strategies and arguments Big Soda used to defeat taxes in two other California cities, offers insight into what tactics voters can expect.
In 2012, voters in the California cities of Richmond and El Monte soundly defeated proposed taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages. The ballot measures were widely covered by local, state and national press. An analysis of that coverage, released today by the Berkeley Media Studies Group, looks at what themes were covered on both sides of the debate.
In 2012, two California cities with large Latino populations, Richmond and El Monte, failed in their attempts to pass a tax on sugary drinks. A new study by Berkeley Media Studies Group found that the soda industry influenced news coverage of the two ballot measures, but did so in a behind-the-scenes way.