Businesses relish in and thrive on creating a positive brand image around what they do and it seems that Coca Cola is like most others.
The sugary beverage business is sponsoring recycling kiosks and carts across the US city of Chicago to the tune of $2.59m. The beverage manufacturer has teamed up with the city’s Mayor’s Office to provide 50,000 carts over a period of five years in the city. However, it’s not plain sailing and though the city has cited the deal as a win-win, there have been some issues raised over the sponsorship.
According to the Chicago Tribune, photos of Coca Cola cans and cartons of Coca Cola owned Minute Maid will be used on the cart’s instructional diagrams. For Coca Cola this could be seen as a significant coup in a time when soft drinks are being marauder as bad for health.
According to Anne Lappe in the Huffington Post, the nature of Chicago means that children will play their games beside the carts. The lack of public amenities and green spaces requires the carts to be placed in the alleys beside houses where children play. In fact, she goes as far as saying that, ‘there’s more often more activity in the alleys than the sidewalks’.
For Chicago City it’s hard to know whether it’s a case of needs must, or if it’s an easy way out of looking for an alternative. You have to wonder if $2.59m over a space of 5 years is unaffordable for a city with a population in the millions. Is the $500,000 or so a year a worthy price to pay for millions of properly recycled cans, but advertorial saturated youth.
If there’s a real win-win alternative without the commercial cost then no. If Chicago can’t afford the $2.59m then it seems the only answer is to dance with the devil.