Coca-Cola truck returns despite protests

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Coca-Cola Christmas truck visits Liverpool. Pic © Alexandra Amadeo JMU Journalism

The famous red Coca-Cola Christmas truck returned to the city for a sixth year this week, but not without controversy in the build-up to its arrival.

The festive red lorry rolled into the city for two days, with staff free cans of Coca-Cola to the people of Liverpool after it parked up by the big Christmas tree in Liverpool One.

Liberal Democrat Councillor, Richard Kemp, had led calls for the vehicle to be banned on the grounds it was promoting an unhealthy lifestyle choice.

His sentiments were echoed in an open letter to Coca-Cola signed by 13 directors of public health in the North West, including four from Merseyside, after a campaign was started by the Food Active group.

The letter stated: “In Liverpool, where the truck will be handing out high sugar drinks on the 5th and 6th of December, almost 40% of children leaving primary school are overweight or obese.

YouTube: Alex Amadeo

“It’s with these less festive figures in mind that we ask you to stop promoting sugary drinks during the Coca-Cola ‘Happy Holidays’ truck tour this year and only distribute sugar-free drinks and water to the general public and in particular to children.”

Not everyone shared their lack of enthusiasm for the arrival of the truck and its 8,000 twinkling lights, however.

Craig Pedder, 28, from Runcorn, said: “I have come to see the truck each year for a while now. I don’t have any kids to bring but me and a few mates always meet up and get a free can of Coke.”

Jane Walker, 52, from Kirkby, said: “This is my first year coming to see the lorry. I thought it might be nice to bring my grandchild because all the music and lights are so Christmassy. I didn’t get her a can of Coke ,though, I think just coming to see the truck will be exciting enough for her.

“I’m personally not against Coca-Cola. I drink it, but she’s a five-year-old so her mum won’t be too happy if I give her fizzy pop before she heads home.”