Thursday, December 25, 2014

Nutter hopes celebrity soda shills will think twice about endorsements

Megastar Beyonce Knowles has gotten a lot of flak for becoming the new face of Pepsi.

Nutter hopes celebrity soda shills will think twice about endorsements

A customer selects a Diet Pepsi from a cooler. Choosing a diet soda over regular can save you about 250 calories and 68 grams of sugar. Diet sodas are the low calorie/no calorie alternatives to calorie-packed fizzy drinks, but now they may take on a new role in the weight loss world as a dietary supplement. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
A customer selects a Diet Pepsi from a cooler. Choosing a diet soda over regular can save you about 250 calories and 68 grams of sugar. Diet sodas are the low calorie/no calorie alternatives to calorie-packed fizzy drinks, but now they may take on a new role in the weight loss world as a dietary supplement. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Megastar Beyonce Knowles has gotten a lot of flak for becoming the new face of Pepsi.

But according to a piece by the New York Times, Knowles isn’t the only big name celebrity to accept endorsements from soda companies despite how unhealthy the sugar-sweetened beverage is.

More than a third of adults and about 17 percent of children are obese in America and Mayor Nutter has been a leading voice on the issue of obesity.

Nutter has tried twice to pass a sugar-sweetened beverage tax, but both times City Council rejected it. Nutter has not ruled out trying his luck with a soda-tax again, but he said last month that he would not seek any tax hikes this year.

So what does the Mayor think about celebrity soda shills?

“In a market based economy, celebrities are free to endorse whatever products they like,” said mayoral spokesman Mark  McDonald, adding that “[Nutter] hopes however, that over time celebrities that endorse soda products will learn more about the damage that soda can do the body, to children and adults.”

“We have a serious obesity problem in the country and in the Mayor’s mind soda contributes to that,” McDonald said. “He hopes they may rethink endorsements of said products in the future.”

First Lady Michelle Obama had enlisted Knowles to be a part of her Let’s Move campaign to fight childhood obesity, but now her face is set to be featured on a limited –edition Pepsi and she’ll be sending a new message to her fans. The leading soda company has agreed to dish out $50 million toward her “creative projects.”

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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