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

The Lie in the Sky

The Lie in the Sky

Coca-cola sponsor the London EyeAlice 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 Faculty of Public Health.

The owners of the London Eye, Merlin Entertainments, along with their new best friend the Coca Cola Company and a handy £2m of their money, see things rather differently: “Coca Cola’s relationship with health is not a concern …” says Sahrette Saayman, a Merlin Entertainment communication officer, after the London Eye re-opened with Coca Cola now sponsoring a coke branded red London sky-line. Further comfort was offered by a Coca Cola spokesperson: “All of our drinks can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet…” he added helpfully.

As she gazed at this new altar to excess consumption, Alice found herself recalling the lyrics of The Eye in the Sky – The Alan Parsons Project.

  • I am the eye in the sky
  • Looking at you
  • I can read your mind
  • I am the maker of rules
  • Dealing with fools
  • I can cheat you blind
  • And I don’t need to see anymore
  • To know that
  • I can read your mind (Looking At You),
  • I can read your mind (Looking At You),
  • I can read your mind (Looking At You),
  • I can read your mind

Buying visibility and respectability ‘by association’ is nothing new – almost every UK hospital shop features blinking bright Coke displays and junk food vending machines. The practice of sponsoring has the happy consequence of avoiding almost all advertising restrictions, whilst the money received can occasionally offset some small fraction of the damage done by the products so ignorantly promoted. Alice understands that Merlin Entertainments are hanging on to their sponsorship money – after all, ‘… health is not a concern…’.

To Coke’s credit, disabled access to the London Eye for the obese and wheelchair bound is currently good, and will get better – Alice thinks that in the years to come, it will have to.




  1. Wolfgang Veit says:

    If I remember correctly the poem alos reads:

    Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
    Humpty Dumpy had a great fall
    All the King’s horses and all the King’s men cannot
    Put Humpty Dumpty together again!

    OH, if this was only true!


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