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Coca Cola released a new advertisement, showing a mother and daughter sharing a coke with the headline, "Quality products you can always feel good about," and a short article explaining how artificial sweeteners like aspartame are safe.
"Are there times when you want to get down with your mom and get real about aspartame? This is so awkward-looking," said advertising expert and media critic with MediaPost.com Barbara Lippert.
The iconic soda company is known for advertisements that sparked imaginations and told great stories about refreshment and happiness, said Lippert.
That is a far cry from the latest campaign.
"This looks like something in health class in eighth grade that was covering up something they didn't want to talk about," said Lippert. "It looks like it's more for asbestos than Coke, and managing a crisis I didn't know they were having."
Though there has been a backlash against sugar-laden drinks of late, "nobody was mentioning aspartame, nobody knows how to pronounce it. If you were worried, this ad is not going to persuade you," said Lippert.
The new advertisement appears only in print, and, for the moment, is only being published in Atlanta and Chicago.
"It's more of a political ad," said Lippert.