Coca-Cola defends sampling policy as MP raises concerns over Truck Tour

Coca-Cola has highlighted its policy not to market to under-12s yesterday (4 November), following an MP's remarks that the brand's Christmas Truck Tour would send the wrong message to his constituency.

The Coca-Cola Christmas Truck is set to visit Leicester on 17 December
The Coca-Cola Christmas Truck is set to visit Leicester on 17 December

BBC News reported that Keith Vaz, MP for Leicester East and chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Diabetes, is asking Coca-Cola not to bring its Christmas Truck to his city, due to the high sugar content of its original drink. 

He said: "I know people like special things happening at Christmas, but Coca-Cola are coming to promote their product and in each can of Coke there are seven teaspoons of sugar. People will protest against the arrival of this truck and it will not be welcomed in the way in which I think they would have hoped."

The Coca-Cola Christmas Truck Tour will visit a total of 46 stops this year, distributing complimentary 150ml beverages and playing festive music. 

In response to Vaz’ comments, the brand has highlighted its policy to not market to under-12s. Coca-Cola told Event that this 'global commitment' has existed since 2009. 

As such, the brand will not provide samples to under-12s without their parent or guardian’s say-so on the Christmas Truck Tour. 

Coca-Cola stated: "The Coca-Cola Christmas truck tour provides a moment of fun for the family in the build-up to Christmas and we’ve had a positive response from many people in Leicester to the news that it will stop there this year.

"We have a policy not to market our products to under 12s, and will therefore not be providing drinks to under 12s unless their parent or guardian is happy for us to do so."

It added that its sugar free Diet Coke and Coca-Cola Zero options will also be available to sample at the Christmas events. 

More: Coca-Cola announces 2015 Christmas truck tour dates

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