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Rate Bloomberg’s new pop tax TV ad

Thursday, Aug 31, 2017

* Tribune

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is spending another $3 million to air a new TV ad backing the controversial penny-an-ounce Cook County tax on sweetened beverages.

The $3 million is on top of $2 million Bloomberg already plowed into a different ad supporting the tax, which went into effect Aug. 1.

Meanwhile, the beverage industry continues an effort to push back. Their Can the Tax Coalition on Thursday took its campaign to Chicago’s Little Village, where the group joined retailers and the local Chamber of Commerce to advocate for repeal of the tax. The event was in the heart of the district represented by Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, who voted for the tax.

A showdown of sorts is set for Sept. 13, when a vote on repealing the tax is expected to take place at a County Board meeting. But passing a repeal and getting it to stick is a tall order.

Board President Toni Preckwinkle in November broke a rare tie vote to approve the pop tax, following an 8-8 tie vote. The late Commissioner Robert Steele was hospitalized and unable to attend that meeting.

* The new ad

* Script…

Dr. Javette C. Orgain, MD, MPH, FAAFP: Imagine how you would feel if you saw a young child under the age of five so obese that they can barely walk. Soda companies are targeting our children and every day I see the results.

Obesity leads to heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes. It makes me angry and it should make you angry too.

The soda tax will mean healthier kids, healthier families, healthier communities.

If we don’t protect our kids – who will?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

42 Comments
  1. - independent - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 12:24 pm:

    The soda tax is a good idea, like tobacco and alcohol soda is not necessary, and its use is voluntary, and it cost society a lot of money in health costs why shouldn’t it be taxed.


  2. - JB13 - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 12:28 pm:

    I can’t recall the Bloomberg-funded ad campaigns to rework SNAP, to make sweetened beverages ineligible for purchase using government assistance. Or did I miss them?


  3. - Rogue Roni - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 12:29 pm:

    You know they’ll never take away our guns. Look at how much people whined and complained when they taxed soda.


  4. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 12:29 pm:

    Ad is OK. As for a repeal, until the proponents have to face the actual numbers on this tax going against them, there will not be a repeal or at least Preckwinkle will veto it. If the anecdotal information about sales being way up at stores across the county line and way down at others just inside Cook proves true, and this whole thing turns out to be Cook County gifting millions in taxes it should have collected to neighboring counties for both soda and general grocery taxes, that will get their attention. Because while they continue to claim it’s about health, and for Bloomberg it probably is, the reality here is it is all about revenue.


  5. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 12:32 pm:

    ==If we don’t protect our kids – who will?==

    That used to be a parent’s job. I suppose we’ve ceded that responsibility to the government now


  6. - Madder Max - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 12:38 pm:

    This is just bad policy. What I would like to know is if the Cook County Board would like us to stop drinking the targeted items or not. If we stop, which seems like the goal, they don’t get any $. Get rid of the tax. It’s senseless.


  7. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 12:41 pm:

    If we don’t protect our kids – who will?*

    *Does not include kids on public assistance, who apparently do not need protecting. And none of the money collected will actually go to, you know, protecting them.


  8. - Beatbox - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 12:41 pm:

    “If we don’t protect out kids, who will?”

    Umm…the parents?

    Whether the ad is effective or not depends on whether people accept the premise that this tax is actually about health.


  9. - igotgotgotgotnotime - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 12:43 pm:

    That’s good ad, about a year late, though. The case for the tax should have before the tax was imposed.


  10. - A guy - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 12:43 pm:

    The graphics come up and go away too quickly to read them without watching at least twice or three times. If you read them, you’ll see that they aren’t supported with what the doctor is saying. That causes some conflict in understanding two parallel messages being delivered simultaneously. Worth it to watch once with the sound off to get the full effect of this.

    I’m not buying what she’s selling, but the ad is ok. Not great, not bad.


  11. - Responsa - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 12:44 pm:

    Bloomberg’s message, if successful, seems completely counter-productive to Toni’s dire need for increased tax driven revenue. You really do have to wonder how pleased she is that Bloomberg has decided to interject himself into her political mess.


  12. - Gooner - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 12:44 pm:

    I disliked this on more than a few levels, especially when the shot pans to a slightly overweight child. I thought that was tasteless bordering on creepy.


  13. - yinn - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 12:46 pm:

    I don’t mind a soda tax. I can see soda as a vice, and therefore fair game. But when I see a child who is obese, my first thought is about the toxic stress that person may have experienced: abuse, neglect, homelessness, loss. So yeah, it’s about protecting kids, but not just from soda.


  14. - Albany Park Patriot - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 12:49 pm:

    Not a fan of the tax. But it caused me to ask my doctor some questions about juice, too. So, while this has been bad for my pocketbook, I hope at least it’s good for my health.


  15. - yinn - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 12:51 pm:

    Oops. Rating: C. It’s just too simplistic.


  16. - I can't deal - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 12:52 pm:

    What a waste of money. Not to mention that an SSB tax has never been proven to result in a drop in obesity.


  17. - For the kids - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 12:53 pm:

    Chicago children could really use that $5M. Ugh.


  18. - Madder Max - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 12:54 pm:

    “It makes me angry and it should make you angry too.”
    That’s also exactly how I feel about this tax.


  19. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 1:04 pm:

    For years and years, I struggled with dozens of health problems, flatulence, cramps, excessive urination, heart diseases, hiccups, osteoporosis, halitosis, endema, ED, tooth loss, warts, obesity and hair loss.

    Then the Pop Tax took effect forcing me to drink whiskey.

    I feel fantastic. I lost weight, my hair and teeth grew back, every malady I had was cured. It’s a miracle.

    Thanks Nanny State for forcing me to stop drinking pop.

    Now, about my heroin habit…


  20. - blue dog dem - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 1:09 pm:

    Rating ‘F’. Just keep giving Rauner props. He may make a race of it yet.


  21. - lake county democrat - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 1:09 pm:

    I’d like to ask Dr. Orgain’s opinon of certian CTU positions about kids and education reforms and ask if those make him angry too.


  22. - Scott - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 1:15 pm:

    My kids don’t drink soda - why? Because as a parent I didn’t buy it or give it to them. It’s about parenting not taxing!


  23. - Keyser Soze - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 1:17 pm:

    If soft drinks are the culprit in the obesity crisis, why didn’t that crisis exist forty years ago? Coca Cola, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, etc., have been around a long time. New kids on the block, post World War Two, are pizza and tacos, two of our young people’s main food groups, took off in the 1970’s. I hope Preckwinkle and Bloomberg don’t go after them. The kids might starve.


  24. - Swift - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 1:17 pm:

    All fine and truthful, but didn’t Preckwinkle shut down a Sherriff’s academy class citing opposition to the soda tax? Kinda difficult to sell the tax as a measure to prevent obesity when Preckwinkle treats the tax as a general revenue tool instead of directing any proceeds of the tax to health programs.


  25. - Curl of the Burl - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 1:26 pm:

    KS - #handsoffmytacos


  26. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 1:30 pm:

    ==New kids on the block==

    So you’re saying this was a Step By Step progression over the years, not just soft drinks.


  27. - phocion - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 1:38 pm:

    I never drank soda as a kid, because mom never bought it.

    Have to say the ad is an F.

    If soda is such a public health hazard, shouldn’t it be regulated or banned by the FDA? This ad is not only dishonest, it will get a lot of folks very unhappy with the ever-intrusive nanny state and dishonesty in reasons for a tax. Bigtime blowback in store thanks to the tax and ads like this.


  28. - Preckwinkle Dive - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 1:50 pm:

    Toni Preckwinkle and her loyal commissioners are jumping head first off a political cliff that will end their careers in public life.


  29. - Seriously? - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 2:00 pm:

    So protecting kids from sweetened iced tea or Gatorade is important. Saving them from milk shakes or snack foods, no so much. Got it.

    And dealing with the shortfall in the budget because the projected revenues are inflated is a problem that won’t need to be addressed until after the elections. Convenient.


  30. - Ron - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 2:19 pm:

    It’s great! Will only remind voters to vote out Prekwinkle.


  31. - walker - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 2:25 pm:

    Bloomburg has been on this kick for years. If it takes off nationally. it will seriously threaten a multi-billion dollar industry. The producers, bottlers, distributors will fight it tooth and nail, with very big donations and ads.


  32. - What a concept... - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 2:27 pm:

    This tax is about health - yeah right. This is nothing more than a money grab. All these taxes are unhealthy.


  33. - Amalia - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 2:45 pm:

    C at best. it’s likely that the cause of weight problems in children…and others…. is the fact that no one walks anywhere . walk to school? nope, bus. or mom picks them up. I’ve got plenty of cases of weight issues where people do not drink sugary drinks. besides, this tax does not affect much of the target demographic. false advertising.


  34. - Hit or Miss - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 2:52 pm:

    The ad is good as it stands, simple and to the point, the one exception is that there is no ‘call to action’. It needs to ask the viewer to do something like not buying soda or calling their county board member. I give it a C+.


  35. - anon2 - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 3:05 pm:

    === the reality here is it’s all about the revenue. ===

    There are mixed motives for most policies. Why does it have to be black or white for the pop tax?

    === would the Cook County Board like us to stop drinking the targeted items or not. ===

    No more than they want everyone to stop using other items that are taxed, such as gasoline or alcohol. It is well established that consumers respond to price. They don’t necessarily stop consumption, but they tend to buy less, which is why the affected industries fight so hard against taxes.


  36. - anon2 - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 3:14 pm:

    === It’s about parenting, not taxing. ===

    If it’s really all up to parents, then why have minimum purchase ages for cigarettes, lottery tickets and alcohol? Are minimum ages part of the Nanny State, too?

    === If soft drinks are the culprit in the obesity crisis, why didn’t that crisis exist forty years ago? Coca Cola, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, etc., have been around a long time. ===

    In 1981, the FCC lifted restrictions on children’s advertising that had been in place since the 1960s. Advertising aimed at children subsequently skyrocketed. It’s estimated that the average child sees 30,000 TV commercials a year, many of them for junk food and fast food. It’s no coincidence that the childhood obesity and diabetes epidemics occurred at the same time.


  37. - anon2 - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 3:17 pm:

    === If soda is such a public health hazard, shouldn’t it be regulated or banned by the FDA? ===

    Should cigarettes be banned? How about alcohol? The fact is that regulations and taxes can be effective in reducing consumption, as we have seen with cigarettes, without resorting to prohibition and its harmful side effects.


  38. - Hieronymus - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 3:19 pm:

    I grew up in the 60s & 70s. Most families I knew didn’t have soda pop just hanging out in the fridge. It was a special treat. For me, it was never a treat since I hated (and still do) carbonated beverages.

    In college I remember being appalled in the cafeteria when first thing in the morning for breakfast, I would see folks with 2-3 full tumblers of some cola on their trays. I was also appalled at the massive amount of discarded, uneaten food, but that is a different story.

    I imagine some of those cola drinkers are now among the obese, diabetic, half-gallon-per-day soda drinkers that are/were some my colleagues. Their medical expenses certainly affect everyone else’s insurance rates, so I say tax it like other societally determined undesirable behaviors.

    In an ideal world parents would not feed their children junk in such quantities, but they do. The government steps in when parents abuse or otherwise neglect their children, and at taxpayer expense. Nutritional neglect may not be as obviously reprehensible as shaking their brains out, but can result in lifelong consequences, nevertheless. If a sweetened beverage tax discourages the bad behavior, then again I am in favor of it.


  39. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 3:43 pm:

    I give the ad a D for dishonesty.

    1) Five year olds don’t become obese because they drink soda. I don’t give soda to my young kids and know of nobody else that does either.

    2) This tax is arbitrary and applying to diet drinks and some forms of orange juice (Tropican Trop 50) as well as other weird applications. Nothing she said in the ad applies to those.

    Finally, this ad it too little and too late. It’s unlikely to move the numbers as those that believe this line of attack were already supporters of the tax.


  40. - Terri - Thursday, Sep 7, 17 @ 5:24 pm:

    This ad does not follow logic. I’m sure a child so obese that he or she (note correct grammar) is quite rare and certainly was not caused exclusively by soda. Taxing our family, that only drinks diet soda and has two normal-weight college students is not going to help end childhood obesity. From what Preckwinkle said, the money is going to be used to pay her staff, not fund hospitals. We now shop in Will County. We probably would have barely grumbled at a small tax, but this is just plain greed.


  41. - F Berman - Monday, Sep 11, 17 @ 10:38 am:

    It’s an excellent ad. Makes a person Think, about what this smart and articulate doctor is saying. Sure the tax is needed to for the govt budget which is providing services. It’s also Common Sense that it will somewhat curb people’s impulses to buy and consume some drinks which we know can have negative impact on our health. We won’t do what islands good for our children OR even ourselves without any incentive, so a tax is a win-win.


  42. - JL Freedom - Tuesday, Sep 12, 17 @ 3:28 pm:

    Ridiculous, just another governmental grab to fund pork projects and pensions while interjecting itself into personal lives where it has no business. No, not at all smart, not at all just and not at all American. Since when is it government’s job to tell us what we can and can’t drink in order to be healthy? People who buy into this need to take a look at some lovely, ocean front property I have for sale down in the Florida keys.


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