Was Coca-Cola bullied into anti-obesity campaign?

World's largest beverage brand produces calorie-counting commercial


This is a rush transcript from "The Five," January 15, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

ANDREA TANTAROS, CO-HOST: Coca-Cola, the world's most valuable brand, has launched a new anti- obesity campaign that urges those to pay attention to calories, including those in their beverages. Take a look.


AD NARRATOR: We'd like people to come together on something that concerns all of us" obesity. The long-term health of our families and the country is at stake. And as the nation's leading beverage company, we can play an important role.

But beating obesity will take action by all of us, based on a common sense fact. All calories count. No matter they come from, including Coca-Cola and everything else with calories.

And if you eat and drink more calories than you burn off, you'll gain weight.


TANTAROS: The question is -- has Coca-Cola been bullied by the anti-obesity groups and politicians like Michael Bloomberg to get on this bandwagon?

Now, you missed it. You couldn't hear this while relaying the ad, but there was a collective groan around the table.

So, Dana, I think this is a response to bullying by these nanny states.

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: Yes, of course. This drives me insane.

This is I want American companies to do. I want them to be great companies. I want them to hire great new people. I want them to think of new products to sell to me and I want them to pay their investors and I basically don't want them to deal with politics.

But they, all these companies, I love -- Coca-Cola is so great. Have a Coke and a smile. Like the most recognized brand in the world, fabulous. And because of pressure for obesity, they have to do this ad.

They are spending money on ads when they could be, look, they could be paying into their pension fund. They could be paying for more workers. They could create new products.

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, CO-HOST: This is ridiculous.

PERINO: This is -- it drives me up a wall. All these consultants who come up with this corporate social responsibility, it's just a way to get more money. And it's another way to redistribute the wealth.

TANTAROS: This is a new thing that the corporations are doing, Eric. This corporate responsibility. They're trying to put forth this philanthropic side, look like they care and they put out these type of ads. What do you think? Are they just scared of the government coming after them? Or trying to do the right thing?

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: I guess if you line up lawyers with legislators who are on the same page, they smell blood. There's blood in the water and the blood happens to be a big pool of corporate money that they're going to all trying to go after.

I guess they want to do it. And, Bob, you mentioned during that ad maybe there is a lawsuit coming along the line of what is the tobacco industry was, you know, on the receiving end of this.

BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: Let me just say, Coca-Cola didn't do that when they were getting me fat, number one.

GUILFOYLE: Oh, please.

BECKEL: I like this. I think this is a cover your butt moment for them.


GUILFOYLE: No, they didn't. What about the donuts in the green room?

BECKEL: They should be sued, too.

The point here is they're all scared about this obesity. It's a big deal. They are worried about getting sued. I think they will get sued, a lot of them.

And, frankly, this is nothing more, this is -- this is not Coca-Cola feels bad about the obese people. This is covering their butt.

PERINO: There are not obese people in the ad.

BOLLING: Unfortunately, they have to worry about --

BECKEL: Every ethnic group in America.

PERINO: No fat people.

BECKEL: And no fat people.

BOLLING: But why they have to worry about covering their butt?


BOLLING: If you don't have enough personal responsibility to not drink Coke when you're fat, why is it their problem?

GUILFOYLE: Yes, that's the problem.

BECKEL: Why don't just yell at me some more?

TANTAROS: If you remember correctly just on "The Five," we did a segment on how inmates were suing liquor companies for making them drunk. And that's why they committed crimes.

And, Mr. Beckel, if we could have a flashback, said this is ridiculous. They should be responsible.

BECKEL: I think it would be -- don't get me wrong. I think it's ridiculous to sue them on obesity. I'm just saying it's coming.

PERINO: Do you think they should have done the ad? Do you think it helps them?

BECKEL: I think that they are trying to protect themselves against the coming lawsuit.

GUILFOYLE: Can I call on myself?

BECKEL: Yes, please. Sorry.


GUILFOYLE: Five seconds left? OK. I think this is ridiculous.

But there should be personal responsibility. Choose what you decide to do with your body. Are we going to sue everybody? We're going to sue, you know, the people (INAUDIBLE), people that eat too much red meat, or people don't eat enough vegetable? Or this or that or there's pesticide on the broccoli? I mean, it's out of hand.

PERINO: I'm going to sue Al Gore because he invented the Internet and he's wasting too much of my time.

GUILFOYLE: Immediately.

PERINO: He's got a cool $100 million extra now.

TANTAROS: There's one corporation very quickly we should mention. I think we are all in agreement here. We don't have to debate it. Walmart is going to hire 100,000 veterans. Any veteran wants a job, Walmart says they will hire.

This is a program that will kickoff on Memorial Day. So, hats off to Walmart.

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