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Cola Wars: Full-Page Ads in The New York Times Challenge & Mock Bloomberg's Sugary Drink Ban


"New York doesn’t need this legislation. Let the people choose."

The CEO of a company that makes do-it-yourself soda kits has protested New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed ban on sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces with a full-page ad in the The New York Times.

Click to enlarge.

SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum's open letter to Mayor Bloomberg appeared in Tuesday's edition of The New York Times. It reads as follows:

Dear Mayor Bloomberg,

We applaud your recent initiative to fight obesity. It’s an issue we can’t ignore. But we don’t believe restricting the size of a soda cup is the answer. We think that a better solution is to give New Yorkers more control over what they drink, not less.

Did you know that New Yorkers are now making soda at home and at the office, with 2/3 fewer calories, and without high fructose corn syrup or aspartame? In fact, they’re using NYC’s finest tap water. Its happening around the world and now it’s in New York.

Here is perhaps the best part. By making their own soda and seltzer, New Yorkers are also helping the environment. Most of the 10 billion soda bottles and cans used in New York every year don’t get recycled. Like empty water bottles, they end up in Staten Island landfills and at the bottom of the Hudson River. But no more.

Smarter choices for a healthier body and a healthier environment are now both possible. New York doesn’t need this legislation. Let the people choose.


Daniel Birnbaum

CEO, SodaStream

The ad is quite clever, really.

Birnbaum believes the ban is a bad idea and thinks people should be allowed to choose for themselves. So he uses a full-page advertisement to get his point across.

However, and this is the clever part, after grabbing everyone's attention with a current and relevant topic, he uses the ad to, well, advertise.

Click to enlarge

And if trying to be reasonable with the mayor doesn't work, there's always the Center for Consumer Freedom's approach (i.e. make fun of him). Here's the "Nanny Bloomberg" ad they ran in The New York Times last week:

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