CokeSpeak: "A sophisticated form of language, containing half-truths dissembled as common sense. Its objective is to deceive the listener, usually for profit".

Sugar Tax and Truth Decay

Alice has been carefully reading the raft of press releases issued by the soft drinks industry and their PR machinery, responding to the recently announced Sugar Tax. All the industry players claim compassionate concern for the cost impact on consumers, which is nice of course, but Alice's attention was drawn to the following quote by Jon Woods, the general manager of Coca-Cola UK & Ireland, … [Read more...]

The Lie in the Sky

Alice was delighted to read that the BDA (British Dietetic Association) has just discovered that excessive consumption of sugar is a major public health risk. According to the Guardian newspaper, a further 60 organisations now support the introduction of a UK sugar tax: "Damage to children's health should be a major concern" according to Dr John Middleton, vice president for health policy at the … [Read more...]

Denialism, Public Health and CokeSpeak

The strategy, tactics and language of corporate denialism Alice and the Cheshire Cat were thrilled to be invited to present a workshop on CokeSpeak at the Annual Public Health Registrars Conference in London this week. It was such fun! The aim was to teach public health registrars how to recognise the language and strategies of corporate denialism and how to resist. The public health registrars … [Read more...]

Denialism and the tactics of S.L.E.A.Z.E.

Alice was delighted to receive a postcard from Professor Simon Capewell, Chair of Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Liverpool. The Professor and many other academics are increasingly agitated by the impact of corporate 'Denialism' on public health, airing their concerns in august publications such as the BMJ. (1) Rather bravely, Prof Capewell is also an expert advisor to the recently … [Read more...]

Quack Quack

Feeding junk food to wild ducks is, unsurprisingly, not a great idea. Refined white bread is particularly damaging to almost all wildlife, so much so, that experts from the RSPB and Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) have now warned the public to be mindful of how they feed the birds, advising them to swap "harmful white bread" for nutritious grains. How public-spirited it is, therefore, … [Read more...]

Killing Me Softly With Your Words

Alice's CokeSpeaker of the Week award goes out to Gavin Partington, Director General of the BSDA - The British Soft Drinks Association - for his latest PR effort. Responding to the conclusion of the Diabetologia study (1) that drinking one 12-ounce sugar-sweetened soft drink per day can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes by 22 percent, Partington explained: "It is well-known that diabetes … [Read more...]

Chocolate Coca-Cola Birthday Cake Recipe

Alice says: Now you can have your coke and eat it! I would hate you to miss out on this fabulous Coca-Cola cake. As the instructions say, use coke instead of water. Go on, what harm can it do? From an original post here: http://www.coca-colacompany.com/stories/recipes-chocolate-coca-cola-cake "The best birthdays begin with a cake that contains favorite treats including devil's food mix, … [Read more...]

Getting Started with CokeSpeak

To persuade you something is true, when it actually isn’t true at all, I have to achieve just two things: I have to conceal the real truth, so that you don’t see or recognise it. I have to make you believe in a comfortable alternate reality, where my deception appears as near to an acceptable ‘common sense truth’ as possible. To make the point, here is a fine example of CokeSpeak: The … [Read more...]

Top Ten CokeSpeak Crooked Arguments

... and how to fight back! (Key: The terms in italics, (so what?) and (specify...) are fully discussed here )  1 - Independent experts (often unnamed) agree with me (so what?), or disagree with you (so what?) Alice’s remedy: Show as irrelevant to the actual issue. Who are these experts? Are they in fact independent? What did they actually say? (may need some detective work!). Also ignores … [Read more...]

Crooked Arguments

It's Only Common-Sense ... The central objective of the crooked argument phase is to make clear that the CokeSpeaker is talking obvious common sense. He is ‘everyman’, on the Clapham Omnibus. And this is the first clue that a CokeSpeaker is operating – the attempt to apply a common sense, seemingly straightforward justification to a complex scientific issue. (Hint: all scientific issues are … [Read more...]