Only anti-soda tax ads broadcast in Mexico

This is how powerful Big Sugar is. Mexico is debating a soda tax, which makes total sense in the world’s most obese country. However, only anti-soda tax ads are seen on TV.

The biggest TV networks have refused to run pro-soda tax ads, so they won’t upset their best clients. I wonder if this means that their news programs are affected too. My guess: certainly.

NBC News: Bloomberg gets caught up in Mexico soda tax fight

Bye bye informed choice. Coca Cola and friends are buying media control in the most obese country on Earth.


  1. FrankG
    What a quandary for the libertarians... do they support the no-tax agenda, or freedom of speech?

    Let's hope that this is another case of "big soda" running scared... if they really felt that regulations will not cut into their profits, then why would they waste money in this effort?

    To me it is clear that they have done their homework and they know exactly what the future holds for their sugar-water.

    These are the last gasps of profiteers that have seen the writing on the wall... just like "big tobacco" a couple of decades ago, they know that the cat is already out of the bag.

  2. FrankG
    And before I get flamed I do realise that I presented a false dichotomy... of course you can be against taxes and still for freedom of speech. :-)

    In fact I am not certain that taxes are the answer in the case of "sugar water". I do think that subsidies which result in the cheap (at least cheap to the manufacturer) "fillers" in so much junk food and drink need to be reassessed. I also think that big business needs to be reined in from its free-for-all and policy-making with its powerful lobbies and intimate ties to government.

    Direct taxes may have helped to slow down, or at least deter some smokers but I think the biggest blow was the social change in attitude. Anyhow "soda" is a less specific product than "tobacco" and can be dressed up and hidden by these slippery weasels as "sports drinks" or "designer water" etc... interesting to note how many of the same companies and executives that were big players in tobacco are still around in food manufacture.

    I hope that Bloomberg Philanthropies helps to put water fountains in Mexico's schools regardless of the outcome of this tax initiative.

    Reply: #4
  3. sten
    Naturally big soda companies are doing what they can to preserve market positions.
    More interesting is it that the TV companies openly(?) admits that they dare not disturb relations with main advertisers.

    If the advertisers agenda is sugar today, come whatever tomorrow.
    That is the tip of the iceberg of today's huge western corruption; far from limited to a laugh over Mexico.

  4. Logan Quinn
    I agree that using the tax system to influence behavior is the wrong way to go about making changes. The sole purpose of taxation should be to support government services. The sole purpose of government should be to protect and enable the exercise of individual's rights. Government should be blind to how individual's consensually choose to interact with each other, so it should not recognize corporations, marriages, churches, charities, schools, or any other type of consensual collective institutions people may form to pursue their happiness with. As such governments should be funded solely by the individuals within it's jurisdiction by a apportionment (head-count) tax. I also think paying these taxes should be completely voluntary. Governments should present to their citizens an itemized budget with a suggested apportionment amount for each item. The citizens could then write in how much they are willing to pay for each item, and make a payment for what they support. This way government services will also be subject to will of the free market and it will have to make adjustments to their spending based on the revenues raised.

    I also agree that all subsidies should be discontinued. In a free market a business should stand or fall based on supply and demand. Anti-monopoly laws should be strengthened to protect diversity in the market place, or better yet, take a clue from Marx and make incorporation illegal. (an economy based on everyone working for themselves in small businesses is a lot more stable and robust than an economy of a few large stagnant corporations who treat their employees like slaves)

    Its sad that cable TV has moved away from the commercial-free subscription-based programming it started out with. But newspapers and broadcast TV are a dying paradigm, and cable TV isn't far behind them. Most people are getting their news and entertainment from the internet these days.

  5. JAUS
    Information and education is the answer. If something is dangerous and affects innocent people (like tobacco smoking) I'm all for a ban. If they instead use snus or other non-smoke tobacco then it don't affect other people and should be legal.

    For those who don't live in Sweden and don't know what snus is:

    I myself have never used any kind of tobacco, in fact I have asthma and my lungs are very sensitive against tobacco smoke. Snus is way better, health-wise, than smoking tobacco of any kind and would save millions of lives every year. I really hope that the rest of the world also start using snus instead of smoking tobacco. Of course the best is stop using tobacco altogether, but there are those who can't or wont stop using tobacco, so snus is the next best thing.

    There is also tobacco- and nicotin-free snus also, for those who wants to take the next step and stop using non-smoke tobacco also. Here in Sweden it's not unusual that smokers first switch to snus and then stop using tobacco altogether.

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