New York City is set the enforce a cap on the size of drinks for sale later this year, and as many as 20 cities and states have considered imposing taxes on sugared drinks. Coca-Cola, PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE: PEP), and a beverage lobbying group spent around $35 million on lobbying efforts to fend off these taxes in 2010, and were on track to top that spending in 2011. Spending in 2012 is not available yet.
Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc. (NYSE: DPS) have seen most of their growth in recent years from low-calorie drinks, including sport drinks and bottled water. Coke’s new ad campaign could just be acknowledging that fact.