« Changing course(s): Michael Gerson on the state of U.S. higher education | Main | The benefits of “skankitude”: Nick Gillespie on popular culture and social trends »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Sydney Morris

What happened to my comment.

Sydney Morris

In his article, Andy Bellatti focuses on Coca-Cola's "Cap the Tap" campaign that unveiled in 2010. This campaign provides instructors and advice to companies to teach staff to convince employees to buy beverages through the company rather than drinking tap water. The main argument behind this campaign is that every time an employee choses to drink from the tap rather than purchase a drink, the company loses an opportunity to make money. In order to grasp the attention of employees, the campaign suggests offering free refills as well as urging employees to buy bottled water- both suggestions that create profits for the company. Bellatti focuses on the irony of this campaign- that Coca-Cola has taken many "commitments to health" by joining various health-conscious campaigns. For example, the company joined Michelle Obama's campaign that urges Americans to drink more water, "Drink Up." He urges consumers to be aware of an "industry that prioritizes profits over health."
While I concede that it is wrong of Coca-Cola to urge companies to push employees to purchase unhealthy soft drinks and sugar-loaded beverages, I insist that encouraging employees to buy through his/her own company could add much needed money into the economy. For example, say an employee forgot to bring a water bottle to work one day, and decided to purchase a bottled water from his/her company- a profit could be made. Now say on another day, in a different city, another employee did the same, and yet another employee in yet another city. The profits would add up. I do, however, still find it imperative that a company offer free tap water to the employees who wish to drink it for it is unfair to force employees to purchase from their work place. It is important that the company provide the employee with a choice of whether to purchase a drink or to consume a free one. This would put the employee in control, and still leave the company in a position to make money.

Kaitlin Andersen

I think its wrong to push and encourage people and teens to drink more Coca-Cola because picking health over a profit organization is completely crazy. Half America is already obesity so why make it to where its more diffacult to buy a buck fifty water bottle versus a dollar soda you can keep filling up? Its not healthy nor right for the Coca-Cola industry to continue making it such a deal and so forth.

Robert Taylor

I believe its wrong to push the world to drink more Coca Cola. The world is already filled with people that are overweight and drinking soda will only make things worse. It contains nothing but empty calories and caffeine that only makes things worse for the body. Water is way more healthier than drinking Coca Cola. I thought the Coca Cola business is doing a good job selling its product up until now. They need to realize what they are doing.

christina mccraney

I believe that the Coca Cola company is wrong for trying to push their products on their employees and on the public. For the Coca Cola company to ask their employees to buy Coca Cola products is wrong in my opinion because the employees make a hard earned check from the company and for the company to ask the employees to use their hard earned money just to make a extra profit is unethical. It's like the employees working for free or reducing their hourly wage. For Coca Cola to try to advocate a healthy product and market diet sodas or zero calorie drinks is wrong also because the artificial sweetners they use in those drinks are known to cause obesity. The regular Coca Cola product also have so much sugar that they are known to cause diabetes. Although the company urges bottled water as the healthier choice they pressure employees and the public just to increase their revenue and make a extra buck. The Coca Cola company those care about the public or employees and will do what ever it takes to make more revenue and benefit the company.

Magen Mefferd

Coca Cola is struggling to gain support with their campaigns to demonstrate the benefits of drinking Coke products and beverages. Bellati’s reasoning suggests the problems arise with the work together concept because health advocates are not getting on board with Coke’s campaign. Bellati further suggests that health advocates should resist any influence Coca Cola may be trying to instill upon in an effort to persuade their opinions/views regarding regular consumption of Coke beverages. The fact is simple; any time a consumer is reaching for tap water instead of a Coke product the company is losing profits.
I certainly would not trust any nutritional suggestions or information provided by a company, such as Coke or Pepsi. Companies are fueled by profits and money; regardless of the nutritional value their product holds a business would never lead consumers away from their products. That would obviously be bad for business. Therefore, the corruption that Bellanti is suggesting that is happening with these funded campaigns makes perfect sense. Consumers should already have a keen sense of awareness for false advertising and nutritional markup of unhealthy products by companies.

Aida Peterson

I am disappointed but not surprised by Bellatti’s revealing of Coca-Cola’s “Cap the Tap” program efforts at restaurants. This attitude of indifference to societal problems in favor of profits seems endemic in our culture today. The willingness to sacrifice health for money then give conflicting messages to cover this behavior is a slippery slope for any corporation to tread upon. Unfortunately, this appears to be business as usual and we as consumers are allowing it. Our freedoms allow us to require better corporate character and upstanding morals through our support of their products. It was only through legislation that tobacco products finally included some warning labels. Now civil litigations are continuing to gain attention. Will health issues, like obesity, follow? Obesity goes deep into other related diseases that can lessen the quality of life, even shorten life expectancy. I do applaud efforts at health education but am frustrated when it is just window dressing, falling short of the complete picture.
Water is the gift of life, it is regulated by Federal and State standards. Water agencies must provide annual reports concerning water quality and any issues that arise. Taste and appearance are not regulated but agencies do respond to complaints. Filtration may help in some cases but I have found that settlement does wonders as well. Yes, I have a pitcher of water in my refrigerator. Letting it sit overnight allows some of the chlorine taste to evaporate and minerals to settle. This vital and precious resource needs to be used and used wisely. Even though the world is mostly covered in water, only a very small percent is usable fresh water. Our bodies are also made mostly of water and needs to be rehydrated daily. For an organization to attempt to substitute soda water for pure water in order to increase their bottom line is irresponsible to the overall health of the country. The cost of healthcare continues to skyrocket and hurts the economy. Anyone who purposefully contributes to that should be held accountable.

Camille Laursen

Bellati’s reasoning is that even though Coca-Cola maybe be working along side some of these health advocates they are not doing it for the same health reasons that these advocates are doing it. While health advocates, such as the First Lady, promote her “Drink Up” campaign, Coca-Cola is doing it in order to increase their own profits. His reasoning is incredibly persuasive, in my opinion, because he’s proving his point that Coca-Cola does not care about their consumer’s health; they are concerned about making money.
If there was a conventional list at the end of the article I would be less likely to click them, because now the article is over and I wouldn’t associate each link with the different parts of the article. Its effective to have it throughout the essay because you feel more compelled to click when you want to learn more. There’s advantages and disadvantages to both. Having the links throughout the article could throw the reader off or completely divert their attention away from the article itself. While if the links are at the end of the article, there is a chance of no attention being paid at all. The advantages are that if they are in the article they will be noticed, but if they are at the end they wont distract or annoy the reader.
I would not trust nutritional advice from the Coca-Cola company whatsoever. They are a company promoting sugary drinks, which plays a major role in obesity, especially for children that love their sugary sodas. These companies, such as Coca-Cola, should have no relation with health advocates at all. Even though it may seem that the two are working hand-in-hand they are striving for completely different goals. Coca-Cola’s main goal is to make profit, in any way that they can, and if they can do that by making it seem like they are promoting a good cause then it’s a win-win situation for them.

John LaMura

Personally as sickening as I find this I am not surprised at all. At the end of the day, people are out to make money and they don't care who or what they hurt as long as they make their profit. Anyone with a brain realizes that Coca Cola is bad for you especially over harmless water but they don't mind spending money to speak out against water if it benefits them in the long term. Sad reality of today's world, Bellati made great points but in the end I think the Giant companies will prevail.

Carnetta ford

I believe that people should drink more water than soda. Soda breaks out your skin , it have allot of sodium & empty calories. Water is obviously more healthier than water. People should also drink more water because 36% of Americans are obesed. That's why I think everyone should drink WATER.


Coca-Cola has reached a new low. I do not agree with the fact that they are trying to push their product even more, putting money before health. Their profits were already doing more than well, now they are just being greedy and not caring of the possible consequences. Reading this article makes me look back at my last visits to restaurants, and I unknowingly experienced exactly what Bellati is talking about in this article. The waiters either asked which fountain drink we wanted or they talked about the special drinks of smoothies and iced teas, which I did not know Coca-Cola was part of. I feel like the restaurants that agree to push Coca-Cola products are taking advantage of their customers, and as a customer I do not appreciate being forced to buy a product. On the other hand, I agree with David Zinczenko and Radley Balko when in their essays they say we have responsibility in what we eat, we can say no. Coca-Cola clearly doesn't care that their products have unhealthy effects on its consumers. It's deceiving for them to then go and try to act like they now want to be apart of people's nutrition, pretending to have people's best interests at hand.

Alisha Fairman

If I were given nutritional advice from the Coca Cola company, I would listen. Just because a company sells beverages that are terrible for general health, that does not mean they do not know anything about health. I would be willing to wager that the owners off Coca Cola do not drink their product daily. In order to safeguard their consumers health, there is not much Coca Cola could do, except stop selling their drinks. It is well known that Coca Cola is bad for everyone's health. It is addictive, high in sugar and carbs. It is a sure fire way to gain weight and it increases water retention, just to list a few side effects. Also, people who drink soda drink less water. Ultimately, water is the most important beverage there is. Coca Cola is not about to devalue their product for everyone's health. They would lose money and what company wants to do
that? As long as Coca Cola is available for sale, people will buy the soda. It is up to each person to take care of their own health. It is not the responsibility of Coca Cola.

Tyson McKercher

Of course Coca-Cola is going to push for a hold on water. In a business they need to do everything in their power to keep their brand clean and desirable. Pushing their cola and tea products will generate revenue, but pushing the Coca-Cola owned brand Dasani, will give them just as much money. This fight isn't up to the company, but to the consumers. Tap water is cost effective to the consumer but not to the firm. This does justify the push for bottled beverages but it doesn't justify the need to sway customers viewpoints. If the customer wants tap water the server should be required to give tap water.

Jin H

Coca-Cola Company launched a program “Cap the Tap” for trying to supersede the tap water for huge potential profits. The Company suggests waitstaff “turn off the tap” and sale Coca-Cola profitable beverages and bottled water to their customers. In this campaign, Coca-Cola gives advices and guide to “educates crew and reminds them when and how to suggestively sell beverages”. Meanwhile, Coca-Cola has talked its commitments to public health and enjoys positive publicity. The author believes that this is a perfect example of doublespeak and big food and big soda companies are really “good” at employing this strategy. Even executives of Coca-Cola stated they don’t believe in empty calories.
Usually I do not take these unhealthy soft beverages. Coke contains Caffeine, a lot of Carbohydrate and Phosphoric acid. When people drink up a bottle of Coke, that means they drink up all of above. They are going to hurt teeth, stomaches and nervous systems. Driven by the huge profits, a company will make various “stories” to confirms potential markets to pay for its products. Even though they seem like “friendly, safe and harmless”. I really double if a company plunge its hand into employees’ pockets and ask them to pay for what they don’t like even hate when the executives hire private doctors and throw money at health care products, how can the public believe this company’s health-oriented initiatives.


Coca Cola is trying to promote change, and pushing for more people to drink water, but unfortunately doing it in the wrong way. Coca Cola is trying to make it seem that the only way to get health benefits from water is to purchase the big brand bottled water, preferably their own product Dasani, instead of tap water that you can get from a restaurant for free. Coca Cola is putting money and profits before the health of the people.

Jessie C.

Coca Cola is just like any corporation, buying and selling products that will sell. Many people would rather drink from a bottle than tap water out of a fountain or sink because of germs and disease that has always been cautioned to us from the health department. Coca Cola has been selling its products for years. Movie theaters are a great example. When you go to a movie theater, would you rather have a water cup and fill it from the water fountain? Or would you rather buy a bottle of water or Coke product? Most of you would say the latter. People are not going to stop buying their product if the Coca Cola Company says it is not as good for you as water. People are not unintelligent; they know that Coca Cola is not as good for you as water. We can blame the beverage and food companies all we want for how we look or eat. But in the end it is our own hands putting whatever the product is in our mouths.

Justin H

Coca-cola and water are two different types of drinks. There is no clear winner to which drink is better for you. Coca-cola tastes much better than water does on any day of the week. It is a free country and people should be able to choose and enjoy whatever they want to drink.

Chase W.

The Coca Cola Company attempting to push the "cap the tap" campaign is just another very clever advertising scheme. Teaching servers to push products is very important in business in order to maximize profits in the quarter. Some people might say that this is wrong but at the end of the day who is making the decision to get tap water or a coca cola product. The consumer themselves make the decisions and help promote the company.

Meghan Schneider

Coca-Cola is a very profitable brand and has been for over a decade. It is not a surprise that they would want to be advertising and promoting their sugary drinks in all restaurants. Just like any business, Coca-Cola has signs, commercials and billboards in the effort to encourage people to buy their product. The fact that people are complaining about this corrupting their children is plain stupid. If someone doesn't want their children to consume so much soda, make rules and say no. Parents make the rules and should be in control of what their children eat or drink and should not blame large corporations.

Gage D

Coca Cola can be considered a danger to human health. Health organizations want people to get off the soda craze and get on water. Water is essential to life, but it has a bland taste. Drinking just water for the rest of your life is not fun or entertaining. A person can eat healthy and drink water for the rest of his or her life, but he or she is still going to die.

Shelby Vann

Coca-Cola is a widely known corporation, noticed worldwide and across the country. Coca-Cola's brand name products are purchased everywhere; people are not going to stop buying these drinks. Trying to promote change among people by advertising their product in all restaurants will not create a drastic change in what people will consume. People will not switch their preference from water to coke just because they claim that soda is better for you than water.

Alexandria G.

Coco-Cola's "Cap the Tap" program was launched to take advantage of the potential profit that avoiding tap water could possibly create. Large companies like Coco-Cola have clearly proven that they are concerned only with their own profits. Coco-Cola has promoted good health to avoid heat from the public, yet continues to take advantage of us. Attacking restaurants and forcing the idea of a profit is an unfair disadvantage to those attempting to avoid soda and live a healthier lifestyle. Putting a price tag on water in restaurants goes to show that Coco-Cola has no boundaries where making money is concerned. Free water sometimes is the only reason guests drink water at restaurants. Today, any excuse for someone to drink water instead of soda is a beneficial one. Charging guests for water may make it even harder for the public to transform into a healthier America.

Kyrstin Creswell

I had no idea that this was a thing happening everyday in restaurant's or anywhere in general. Yet, I am not surprised. The company Coca-Cola is known all around the world. I mean it is the biggest sponsor of the Olympics. They will do anything to sell their product or as in this case persuade people to buy it. What is so appalling about this is the fact that it's not that they don't want you drinking other products like Pepsi, it's that they would rather you buy one of their drinks than get water. Nowadays we are having a huge problem, especially in the U.S. with sugar intake. My mom recently has taken away all unnatural sugar drinks in our house. Yet I am realizing I am having a very hard time not going after school and buying a coke. It is much harder for me when I go out to say I would like ice water, then when the server sits there and names every soda they provide. Especially with those new touch screen machines that gives me the option to chose from over one hundred and fifty drink choices. Diving deeper into this on those machines every drink option is bright with colors and bold letters and the water tab is in the bottom right corner gray and bland. Just looking at the fact it's an option makes me turn away. People today should be drinking up to three to four bottles of water, and to be healthy probably more. This campaign from Coke is completely wrong, and more people should know it's happening. So the next time you are stopping at a gas station and are really wanting to taste the bubbles of that carbonated, full of sugars and owned by a deceiving company, Coke. Think again and go grab a water, it may be one of the best changes you have made in a long time.

Rachel K.

Coca-Cola is a brand name that every person knows and that most people drink regularly. I understand they are a business that is trying to gain a profit but I don not think downgrading water, which makes up over 70% of our bodies, as a bad thing and that people should drink alternatives. When did the tables turn to where water is viewed as something you shouldn't drink and soda is? they also address the issue of obesity; obesity is a rising issue that is becoming more and more of a problem but I do not understand how drinking soda over water will improve this. I do not think that Coca-Cola should continue with what they are doing with this advertising angle or whatever they choose to call it. Water is one of the healthiest things you can put in your body and they are trying to encourage people to not consume water and rather buy something more expensive and what most times is worse for them. We should be supporting more people drinking water not soda. it is every persons choice to drink soda, water, tea or whatever they want but I do not think tap water or any water in general should be frowned upon or seen as something that should be put to the wayside. Coca-Cola has done a very good job of keeping this hidden, I didn't even know about it until this article. at the end of the day it is the parents choice to make rules for their children until they can make their own choices but water shouldn't be downgraded or put to the wayside.

Kaley Weldon

Humans are made up of around 65% of water and water is crucial to survive. Coca-Cola has made claims to be healthy and even say the Diet coke is not bad for you, but unfortunately it is filled with many chemicals that are not beneficial in any way. The campaign "Cap The Tap" is simply a marketing business to try for their own water bottles and their soft drinks to be sold. Businesses are only concerned about their own products making it in the world and for them to get an abundance of sales. In every commercial or any type of advertising the coca- cola company makes you only see happy, smiling, and healthy people drinking their products. This paints a picture of joy and health; which in reality is wrong. Coke products are filled with sodium, sugar, carbohydrates, and caffeine. Nothing is healthy about any of their products (exception is the Dasani water)and more and more people should start to realize that. soda is one of the leading factors to our obesity, People SHOULD make a switch to tap water.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

By signing up you agree to W. W. Norton’s
privacy policy and terms of use.

About They Say / I Blog

  • New readings posted monthly, on the same issues that are covered in “They Say / I Say” with Readings—and with a space where readers can comment, and join the conversation.

Follow us on Twitter to get updates about new posts and more! @NortonWrite

Become a Fan