Category Archives: Advertising

Coca~Cola® launches new tide of Greenwash

Wave of Ocean Plastic sweeps away sustainability credentials

The Coca Cola PR machine has gone into action this week, with releases hailing the launch of its “first sustainability campaign to promote plastic recycling”.

It’s a predictably professional response to growing criticism of Coca Cola’s role in “Ocean Plastic”.  Rather than cynically papering over the cracks with this classic Green-wash, the business would do better to recognise that it has a level of culpability and engage with others to identify long-term solutions.

We believe that looking after People and Planet leads to greater Profit and shareholder value.

If they followed this up with an investment in bio-degradable or deposit-bottle packaging solutions across all of its markets; or perhaps lead and sponsor a global movement to harvest Ocean plastic, then they could genuinely claim some sustainability credentials.

Having worked with world-leading sustainable brands; we believe that looking after people and planet is not just a “Nice to do” , but makes good business sense too. It can lead to increased consumer trust, better profit, and greater shareholder value.

Coca~Cola is not the only culprit in this latest wave, but as they are responsible for a sixth* of the 600 billion plastic bottles produced globally every year, it is clearly time for them to stand up and take a leading role in solving this global crisis.

This would give new opportunities for many consumers to become advocates for their brands, and I too would genuinely applaud them for showing this kind of initiative.

Until then, their current advertising just looks like “business as usual”.


Chris Collis is Director of independent business consultancy, Marketing Walk Ltd.

Links to other reading on this: Greenpeace “*Stop choking our oceans” and Marketing Week 29 July 2017

This is an opinion piece only, For avoidance of doubt, this company has no association with the organisations shown in the illustration and use of their registered trademarks falls under the provisions of “fair comment” . Coca~Cola® and Sprite® are trademarks of the Coca Cola Company,  Actimel® is a  trademark of Danone®, and Unilever® is also a registered trademark. 




Arresting, Relevant, Topical – The Art of great advertising

Timed to coincide with international women’s day, this quick-witted advertising has delivered its powerful message way beyond its original media budget, and is a credit to its marketing team.

Salvation Army advertisement against Domestic Violence  © Ireland Davenport 2015
Relevant and Timely, Salvation Army advertisement against Domestic Violence
© Ireland Davenport 2015

It’s no surprise that this new advertisement for Salvation Army in South Africa has attracted media coverage across the world this weekend.

Subverting imagery from the very recent global internet phenomenon #thedress(*¹), the release of this hard hitting image was timed to coincide with international women’s day.  The body copy reads:- ‘The only illusion is if you think it was her choice. One in 6 women are victims of abuse. Stop abuse against women.’

Arresting, Relevant, and Topical, this quick-witted advertising has delivered its powerful message way beyond its original media budget, and is a credit to the marketing team at Salvation Army who gave a level of creative freedom to their agency, Ireland Davenport, rather than restrict them to some box-ticking corporate communications process.

It is proof that there is an Art to Advertising


Chris Collis is an award winning Chartered Marketer and Director of independent consultancy Marketing Walk.

(*¹) #thedress was an image of a black and blue dress by Roman Originals, which was lit in such a way that for about two thirds of viewers the dress appeared to be in gold and white. – a trick of the light and of natural variances in human perception. The image has been circulated many millions of times across the globe over the last few weeks. Roman Originals then chose to launch a limited edition gold and white version, a copy of which appears in this advertisement.