Artificial sweeteners may soon benefit from some sugary prose delivered via native advertising campaigns.
NativeMobile has learned that a native ad for a major print and online publication is in the works for early June that will endeavor to “set the record straight about artificial sweeteners,” which continue to turn off American consumers in droves.
In fact, a recent story in The Consumerist reveals that “The beverage industry is trying to disprove health concerns that consumers have about calorie-free sweeteners, funding research assuring the public that everything is cool and that the drinks can even help with weight loss.”
But customers are skeptical. And their skepticism is shaking up sales.
“Consumers aren’t buying the evidence, though, and are buying less diet soda than they used to,” notes The Consumerist. “Consumers are either turning to other types of beverages or sugar-laden soda. When they switch to soda, they drink less of it in general.”
In fact, Coke’s calorie-free product recently had to give up its #2 sales ranking to regular Pepsi.
Reportedly, a piece entitled “The truth about artificial sweeteners” will aim to “debunk” the myths and misconceptions about the supposed dangers of artificial sweeteners. We haven’t been able to confirm which sweeteners in particular will be identified in the advertising. But we were told that an “independent organization” is behind the ad (most likely a sugar industry trade group), although it won’t be long before we know which major food or beverage maker most likely contributed financially to the cause.
Sugar in general is taking a beating — and its artificial cousins, too. The typical American diet is comprised of 13 percent calories from sugar, on average — and as much as 16 percent for children. The artificial sweeteners have additional issues, including spurious FDA approvals (especially for aspartame), questions about chemical formulations, and concerns about long term consequences. In general, people seem to have woken up to the old adage as applied to an artificial sugar kick: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
One interesting tidbit we learned from our contact is that approval was not given for the ad to use an excerpt from a Dr. Oz program in which the TV doc said that artificial sweeteners are acceptable in moderation. The piece will, however, be presented and undersigned by leading medical and agricultural professionals who’ve been enlisted to assist.
Can native advertising help sweeten the fortunes of the peddlers of artificial sugars?
We’re not certain, but we can suggest a theme song — that 1969 Archies hit that proves it might be better to hear “Sugar, Sugar” than to eat it.