City movie theaters take fight against soda ban to marquees
Soda manufacturers and businesses are taking to the skies and the movies to rally New Yorkers against the mayor's proposed soda ban.
NYC Beverage Choices, a coalition of New York 500 companies that has been funded by the American Beverage Association, has been working with 25 movie theaters to get New Yorkers to sound off against Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan to ban the sale of sugary drinks greater than 16 ounces.
"We don't think it will have an impact on obesity but it will have an impact financially and socially," said Matt Greller, a spokesman for National Association of Theater Owners of New York State.
Theaters owned by Regal Cinemas, AMC Theaters and National Amusements have been running slogans on their marquees that ask people to nix the ban along with the address to the coalition's website.
The coalition also flew a banner promoting its cause around Coney Island and the Rockaways on July 4.
The city Department of Health didn't respond for comment.. It will hold a public hearing on July 24 for the ban, which would go into effect in March if passed.
Elliot Hoff, the coalition's spokesman, said the ban was illogical because it removes large sodas from delis and restaurants but not from supermarkets and doesn't target other causes of obesity.
"Fundamentally, we believe New Yorkers can make their own choices of what they can eat and drink," he said.
Hoff wouldn't say how much the coalition is paying for the program and said more campaigns, including radio ads and movie trailers, will be coming soon.