Morning Advantage: Anti-Sugar Zealots Really Need To Change Their Game Plan

Coca-Cola, you may have seen, is running a new ad campaign that touts the company’s efforts to reduce obesity. Wait. What? Coca-Cola, the world’s #1 soda king, is waxing about the healthiness of its product line? Yes. Yes it is.

The critical consensus: the ads are well-produced (and almost creepily convincing) but they completely sidestep Coca-Cola’s role in the obesity epidemic.

In an op-ed at Forbes, Rick Berman agrees that the ads are misleading, but he has some pointed words for anti-sugar activists: if they want to counteract Coca-Cola’s campaign, they need to stop suggesting “draconian proposals” such as bans and taxes, and focus more on outreach. Berman, serving in the role of Executive Director of the Center for Consumer Freedom, says change should be driven by — no surprise — the choices of consumers. After all, that’s why Coca-Cola has released healthier products to begin with: the company responded to the demands of more health-conscious consumers.

WHAT THE DICKENS???

Facebook Chatter Is More Memorable Than Lines from Literature (ScienceNOW)

Researchers have found that people are more likely to remember Facebook status updates than great quotes from literature. Poor novelists: it’s not like novel writing is a lucrative craft these days, and now this? But while novelists (and this writer) assume the fetal position, advertisers should take notice because there may be something to learn here. “Effortless chatter,” the researchers say, “ is better than well-crafted sentences at tapping into our minds' basic language capacities — because human brains evolved to prioritize and remember unfiltered information from social interaction.”

HUMAN AFTER ALL

The Age Of Big Data Demands Real Criticism (The Awl)

“If you think of all the information encoded in the universe from your genome to the furthest star, from the information that's already there, codified or un-codified, to the information pregnant in every interaction, "big" has become the measure of data.” So begins Trevor Butterworth’s piece at the Awl about Big Data. His main point is that people often miss one crucial point: Big Data has actually increased the need for humans. After all, as Butterworth (great name) puts it, "Computers cannot discern by themselves." We need people who can direct attention and interpret results.
—Tim Sullivan

Good Intentions Gone Bad

Who in Hell Invented the Cubicle? (Hbr.org)
Hollywood Cashes in on the Lance Armstrong Drama (Hollywood Reporter)
Obama’s Message to America: Work Harder? (Jacobin)

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