I never cared for Pepsi anyway

There’s usually no point to complaining when some odious business announces that they are “sponsoring” soft drinks or whatever — it’s meaningless. My university has Coca-Cola machines downstairs, which doesn’t imply sponsorship either way. It means we have a contract with the local distributor to service and supply the machines. So when I heard that Pepsi and the Creation “Museum” were teaming up, I shrugged. So what? They’ve got an overpriced cafe, they need to supply it with food and beverage, they’ve got a deal with a local company. Just as gay people have a right to demand equal service from their local bakery, creationists can’t be prohibited from accessing necessary services.

(Sorry, gay readers, if that sounds like I’m comparing you to creationists. I’m not, you’re much better than that.)

However, this image crosses the line.


That’s a Pepsi delivery truck, advertising for the Creation “Museum”, and that’s just wrong. I would boycott them for that.

But then, who do I boycott? Look at that sign: cheap and cheesy. It’s probably not part of any corporate or national campaign, its source is probably just the regional distributor, who may well be a fan of Answers in Genesis. I guess that means if I lived in Kentucky, I wouldn’t buy Pepsi products.

But I detest Pepsi anyway (when I drink soft drinks, it’s Coke Zero), so I wasn’t about to give them any money anyway. So yay, I guess, I’ll kind of boycott Pepsi.


  1. roachiesmom says

    Another good reason to avoid Pepsi and just stick with Coke. Mine’s just not Zero, though; I gotta have it all the way.

  2. Johnny Vector says

    Yabbut… Either the ad was approved by corporate HQ, in which case Pepsico is whatever the next step below “culpable” is, or it was not approved, in which case I’m eager to see how hard corporate comes down on this guy. I have a strong suspicion that using the Pepsi logo in unapproved advertising material is somewhere between a big no-no and a losing-your-franchise offense.

  3. acroyear says

    It is simply paid advertising. Lots of companies do that on those trucks, though I usually see it more on Pepsi than Coke transports. Each fall, many Pepsi trucks in Maryland have posters promoting the Renaissance Festival.

    Now, we can never know if they cut a deal to get the poster on there cheaper than others or just the same price, but there we are.

  4. says

    Soda is bad for all of us. And Diet soda is probably worse.

    I just put a post on the Pepsi FB page and I wasn’t the first.

  5. says

    Just curious @4 markcmckee, why would diet softdrinks be worse? I hope it’s not a food babe-esque reason, such as aspartame being used in industrial cleaners, or something like that…

  6. says

    IIRC it’s because the body still responds to the artificial sweeteners like they’re sugar, but because they don’t have any calories it stimulates appetite (or something like that). Plus carbonated anything creates a lot of “empty” space in the stomach which can make you feel less full.

  7. PatrickG says

    @ amenhotepstein:

    Latest reference I can find to Coca-Cola sponsoring AiG is in 2009. Do you have something more recent? I ask because contracts like these tend to be rigidly exclusive; that is, I highly doubt that you can buy both Pepsi and Coke products at the Creation “Museum”..

    I would suspect this is a local affiliate partnering with the “museum”, but it’ll be interesting to see what the official statement from PepsiCo is.

    @ Tony!

    Well, in my opinion Coke started tasting better once they stopped their campaign of killing union leaders and actually letting union representation into their plants. As you say, it’s hard to find truly ethical products.

  8. says

    All that shit is poison. You don’t have to selectively boycott it, you’d be self-destructive to drink any of it anyway.

  9. grumpyoldfart says

    #4 markmckee says, Soda is bad for all of us.

    I have been drinking soda with most meals for the last sixty years and no problems so far. Never had an illness apart from the very occasional cold or flu.

  10. cag says

    It has been 50 years since I tasted Coke, Pepsi or any of the other flavoured sugar water drinks. I just asked myself “why am I paying good money for something that’s no good for me?”. Never been drunk and never tried Tobacco , didn’t see any reason to alter my mind and figured smoking was good for salmon but not lungs.

  11. consciousness razor says

    Good, now we just need an identical grumpyoldfart who drank water every day but did everything else the same. Then we’d have two whole pieces of data.

  12. Holms says

    Alternatively, people can have stuff they like and not be lectured by over-serious single issue wonks that they are being self destructive for fucks sake.

    Meanwhile, another swig of Farmers Union Iced Coffee for me.

  13. carlie says

    We need a Godwin corollary for how any time a food is brought up in an internet conversation, someone will declare that it is horrible for you and you should feel bad for consuming it. Bonus points if they self-righteously claim to never ingest such things themselves.

    (yes, that is correct about artificial sweeteners. But I don’t think there is anyone who doesn’t know that by now, and there is almost nothing we do that doesn’t have an element of unnecessary risk.)

  14. consciousness razor says

    Okay, Holms. We’ll go back to being not-too-serious about the single issue of an ad on a delivery truck. I do not fucking grok what that’s about, but we shouldn’t derail it I guess.

  15. anteprepro says

    That poster is terrible. It took me three reads to realize that their deal is supposed to be a Noah’s Ark reference.

  16. consciousness razor says

    It is a pretty crappy design. I don’t get why “Creation Museum” is in a speech bubble coming from the right side. It would make sense if cartoon Ken Ham was saying that, or maybe delivering the lines about the sale. But I mean… who’s saying it? Is that you, Jesus?

  17. Nes says

    Eh, if I were going to boycott Pepsi over an ad campaign, it would be this one that they were running a few years ago.

    As is, I’ve dramatically reduced my carbonated sugar water intake in order to reduce the amount of sugar in my diet and save money anyway, so I can’t really boycott.

  18. consciousness razor says

    Wow, Nes, that’s fucking awful. It’s not made by Pepsi though. It’s some Dr Pepper/Snapple/whatever conglomerate of its own. Surprisingly, wiki says both Pepsi and Coke distribute or bottle it in different places.

  19. anteprepro says

    Duth Olec: The sponsor shall be Cthul-Aid. Like Kool Aid, except slightly less cult related. And tastes more like rotted seafood and bog water.

  20. Lofty says

    Eh, both Poopsie and Croak taste horrible to me. Luckily I have a plentiful supply of almost free water in a big concrete tank behind the house, delicious with a whole range of tea like substances. So sadly I can’t boycott either company for their unethical practices any more than I already do.

  21. magistramarla says

    For anyone who does choose to boycott Pepsi, remember that those beverage companies tend to sell other products too, such as so-called vitamin water and other beverages of questionable health benefits.
    OK, I’m one of those irritating people who swore off of soda and anything highly processed and/or full of sugar about six years ago. My hubby and I have both been a lot healthier since then.
    I guess that living in California made me a bit of a food snob. I’m currently in the hospital. I was offered honey instead of sugar for my tea (won’t drink their coffee – hubby brings in good stuff). The Smuckers honey packet looked and tasted more like corn syrup than honey. I have my raw honey shipped to me from California. I decided to stick with a packet of sugar while I’m here – safer.
    The same thing happened with yogurt. I eat a Greek yogurt every day which has very few ingredients and add my own fresh fruit. I asked for strawberry yogurt this morning and was given a strawberry Danimal. One bite was all I could stand and when I read the ingredients I didn’t want another one.
    Can’t wait to get home to decent food and I can’t wait to get off of some meds so that I can drink wine again!

    I’ve found that my severe reaction to any opioid has worked in my favor. The hospital couldn’t give me ANY narcotic, so they had to get creative. I had major spine surgery, and came out of it quickly, wasn’t ill at all, had a ravenous appetite, and I haven’t felt a bit of pain since the surgery. I’m clear-headed and getting into trouble for using my walker to take myself to the bathroom during the night rather than waiting half an hour for someone to notice the call light.
    My surgeon wants to release me tomorrow either to home or to a short visit to the rehab floor.
    I just had three disks fused, and everyone is confused that I have zero pain -yay!
    It was more painful trying to walk with three badly compressed disks.
    Do any of you science types have an explanation for high pain tolerance? I had five babies with no meds – four of them at home. My midwife had a difficult time judging when to get to my house because I sailed through labor.
    The surgeon also seemed surprised that I could function as long as I did with those compressed disks.
    Is there a neurological explanation? Messed up pain receptors, or what?

  22. says

    My stomach started boycotting soda years before my mind decided to.
    Last one I drank was in maybe… 1995, and I had pretty much stopped a few years before that.

    Of course the thing is Pepsi also owns all the chips and stuff.

  23. Pseudonym says

    Clearly the official beverage of FTB should be blood, conveniently packaged in the form of consecrated sacramental wine.

  24. PatrickG says

    Seconding Tony’s Thank you to Holms @ 18, and adding one for Carlie @ 19!

    We need a Godwin corollary for how any time a food is brought up in an internet conversation, someone will declare that it is horrible for you and you should feel bad for consuming it.

    Thus was born Carwin’s Law? Or would you prefer Godlie’s Law? :)

  25. gmacs says

    Nes @25,

    I did stop drinking any product that came in a “10” variety for a couple years. I figured I had no problem with diet pop, and didn’t want to buy from a company that wanted to appeal to insecure dudes and people who want to feel better about not technically drinking diet (except that they are).

    I personally can’t stand regular Coke, as it makes my teeth hurt. For some reason Coke Zero doesn’t.

  26. says

    I don’t really drink much soda, but my girlfriend is Type 1 diabetic which really limits the things she can drink in any real quantity, even natural juice, without any added sugars are still really carby stuff. So we do often have Coke Zero, or Crystal Light, in addition to tea and coffee, just to have some variety. Water is great, but sometimes it is nice to have something that is not just water. I realize this is not the reason most people likely choose to drink diet soda, but for us it is not really about whether it is really healthy or not, but something that we can have sitting around that won’t cause problems with blood sugar.

  27. Menyambal says

    I gave up on most soda yonks ago. But I am such a weak person that I got addicted to a small Coke every morning – took me a while to figure out why I was hurting on my days off. Now it is ginger ale when I am ill, and an occasional root beer to try to remember why I used to drink the stuff.

    That is a horrible advert.

  28. Nes says

    consciousness razor @ 26:

    I knew that some soda brands (especially 7 Up) were either independent of or the property of/distributed by either Coke or Pepsi in different geographical areas, but did not realize that this was the case with Dr Pepper. Where I am it’s pretty firmly in the distributed by Pepsi camp, so I assumed that Pepsi owned it. I can easily “boycott” (in the sense that I already wasn’t buying it, anyway) Dr Pepper/7 Up/Snapple.

  29. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    markmckee #4

    And Diet soda is probably worse.

    Got any credible evidence of this? Until you provide some peer reviewed citations please repeat after me: “The dose makes the poison.” Yup, aspartame is a cytotoxin, but in the quantities found in diet soft drinks you’re not going have any problems from it unless you’re drinking excessive amounts.

  30. =8)-DX says

    FossilFishy, isn’t drinking excessive amounts, the point? I mean if you’re only drinking say at most a single 33cl can of sugared beverages a day there’s not really much point switching to diet, but if you drink several litres of it each day, choosing the diet options is a way to reduce your added sugars.

    But yeah, conclusive peer reviewed citations are a good thing.

  31. johnlee says

    I think it’s quite apt that Ken Ham is portrayed as a cartoon character. He and his ‘museum’ really belong in a Hannah-Barbera production. You know, the one in which hard-praying Kenny is hotly pursued by a Roadrunner lookalike dinosaur, only to be saved by miraculous Divine Intervention.
    Perhaps we can come up with some alternative endings …

  32. Nick Gotts says

    I have been drinking soda with most meals for the last sixty years and no problems so far. – grumpyoldfart@14

    …except for the excessive farting and grumpiness? :-p

  33. opposablethumbs says

    Supermarket own-brand juice (100% juice, but the cheap ones) plus carbonated water. Probably not much different health-wise (all the fructose, all the acidity still there) but tends to be better-tasting and marginally cheaper than the brand-name fizzy drinks, so it makes a nice alternative for anyone who fancies a change.

  34. MHiggo says

    Giliell @46:
    There is some difference in the taste. Diet Coke’s taste is slightly sharper, which I prefer, but I’ll drink Coke Zero before the fully-leaded stuff. Coke Life, which has 10 or so calories and a stevia sweetener, seems like a half-measure that pleases no one but chemophobes.

    Mostly, though, the difference is the marketing. Coke Zero seems to be in the same camp as Pepsi Max and Dr Pepper 10 — diet sodas aimed at those too ashamed to admit they’re drinking diet sodas. Guess I’ve never really thought that hard about what other people think of my choice in fizzy drinks.

  35. bigwhale says

    If I am remembering what I heard on the Skeptics Guide to the Universe correctly, diet drinks may have issues that make them less healthy than they should be given the low calories, but are still likely better than regular colas. More studies need to be done. I agree with DX @40

    The body may not deal with artificial sweeteners perfectly, but it’s often better than dealing with such a load of actual sugar.

    I still drink regular colas sometimes. Never got used to diet, though coke zero isnt bad. Any drink can be part of a healthy diet.

  36. llyris says

    @Holms #18. I used to love Farmers Union iced coffee. Thanks for reminding me.

    A few years ago when my husband was diagnosed with diabetes we looked into diet drinks / artificial sweeteners. And we found that there were too many conflicting opinions about whether or not they were safe and it wasn’t clear cut. So we switched to water instead. Also, artificial sweetener tastes foul. When you get right down to it the taste is the real reason, all the rest is justification after the fact.

  37. says

    AFAIK the problem with artificial sweeteners is that your body thinks it’s getting a massive dose of sugar when there is none, playing tag with your insulin production. Of course, I don’t know if that effect is going to be that big if you drink your diet soda alongside a meal…

    Goodness, I hate Stevia. that stuff tastes like Stevia and it tastes horrible.

  38. drst says

    There have been some recent and very, very preliminary studies regarding artificial sweeteners and their effect on gut bacteria as well: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/artificial-sweeteners-may-change-our-gut-bacteria-in-dangerous-ways/.

    I have no idea if those studies will bear out but I think it’s worth pursuing since when the current crop of artificial sweeteners were being tested for safety, nobody would have had reason to think of considering effect on bacteria. It just wasn’t on the radar. More science please!

    I have reactive hypoglycemia so I can’t drink anything with sugar in it and I cut caffeine out when I was 20, so I mostly drink water, decaf tea and the occasional can of diet soda because water gets seriously boring after a while. And straight club soda, which is apparently weird.

  39. robro says

    That’s one cheesy ad. Looks like it was done by the distributor’s son or daughter. Love that “Come 2 x 2″…why not “7 if you’re clean, 2 if unclean?”

    The truck and ad are probably owned by the distributor, a company local to the Hamlet which uses the Pepsi logo under license and as part of their distribution contract. PepsiCo. corp probably knows nothing about the ad and has little control over what the distributor does with the logo. There’s no harm in complaining to them, though. They might pull out the “don’t harm the brand image” clause, but that’s unlikely.

    I don’t drink sodas very often of any type. I lost my taste for them. I doubt they are particularly healthy for or harmful to you,. They probably aren’t any worse than the Scotch I’ll take to the cabin with me tomorrow. Now iced coffee, that’s appealing…and with a shot of something…mmm…

    And so there, I covered both topics. I’m a multi-issue kind of person.

  40. nichrome says

    To FossilFishy and others looking for citations, here’s a pretty good article in TIME that has links to various studies:

    Unlike Giliell, I quite like stevia as a sweetener. So far it seems like a better option than other zero-calorie sweeteners. This diet pop uses stevia and I find it quite tasty when I’m craving a sweet, carbonated beverage – or a rum & coke!

  41. grignon says

    On her facebook page my sister re-posted a call from some god-botherer to boycott pepsi because, during some promotion, they’d printed a pre 1950s version of the Pledge of Allegiance on their cans- one without the “under god” addition.
    Pepsi appears to have no chance at all.

  42. says

    I used to drink quite a bit of diet soda, but I was having some gut issues. Among the many things I tried was eliminating soda from my diet. I’m not sure how much of a difference eliminating the soda made, but after getting used to water, soda just doesn’t taste as good anymore. And if I’m going to drink something that’s possibly (well, in this case probably) bad for me, I’d take beer over soda any day.

  43. pinkey says

    It’s not just that the ad is on the truck. It’s that the PEPSI LOGO IS ON THE AD.

  44. unclefrogy says

    Tony I can answer your question
    Smugness tastes like ambrosia and smells like Jasmin and barbeque!
    the perfect nutrition for a superior life!
    uncle frogy

  45. says

    That’s funny. First Ham gets Coca Cola to endorse him by putting a Coke machine in his crack house museum, now he has Pepsi endorsing him. What a waste of promotion and money!

  46. EvoMonkey says

    rturpin @64.
    Traditionally, Coca-Cola has been associated with the Democrats and Pepsi has been the swill of choice for the Republicans.
    It’s the opposite of the color code for states when talking about the color code for colas.

    I have always preferred Coke over Pepsi (except for the New Coke fiasco – bleh). Ken Ham better leave my other favorite, Kentucky’s own Ale-8-One, alone.

  47. lorn says

    Pretty common around here for various distributors, not just soda, to offer such advertising to anyone who buys enough of their product for free or reduced cost. The local distributor will put you in touch with an advertising consultant that is familiar with the format and deal. Based upon the artistic quality of the sign I assume this consultant was in middle school and had only a minute to finalize the design.

    Let them have their sign. Buy-two-get-two-free reeks of desperation. Are they thinking the Creation Museum is going to be a hot spot for double dates? Assuming it works, I think having people sit on their dinosaurs may be the least of their problems.

    will I boycott Pepsi? No, it is simply too lame to not be forgiven.

    Besides, I don’t drink soda. Never developed a taste for the stuff. Too sweet and it doesn’t slake my thirst. Coffee, tea, water, an occasional hot chocolate on a cold winter night, is how I roll.

    Besides all that phosphoric acid, have you ever seen the chicken bone trick, not to mention the corn syrup or artificial sweeteners, is potentially bad for you if you go too far. I had a friend online who was downing huge amounts of Mt.Dew, like three two-liter containers a day, who was diagnosed with osteoporosis. He stepped off a tall curb wrong and shattered his ankle. Docs said he had the bones of an eighty year old man. At the time he was mid-thirties.

    According to him, the doctors told him that poor diet, minimum exercise, and what little calcium he was getting sequestered by the phosphoric acid had drained his bones of the mineral. Last I heard from him he had fallen again and was depressed and dreading have to use a walker. My only contact was through an on-line forum and he stopped posting and didn’t respond to my private messages delivered through the system.

    I hope he is doing okay. On the surface a loud-mouthed bully, bigot, racist, sexist, and true ( he referenced himself with the term) gun-nut he still had good heart and had undergone a lot of reformation in the couple of years I fought with him. I hope he moved on and is living the good life while continuing to humanizing himself. He hated that term but gradually accepted the desirability of the change. But, odds are, because he hadn’t gotten to the point of questioning his vision of what a man really is, and still confusing weakness with provocation, he shot himself. Which, I guess, is a step up from his original plan from years earlier, to express his rage and disappointment by going out in a blaze of glory taking as many people as possible with him.

    So it goes.

    Let the Creation Museum have their pathetic and lame posters.

  48. Rey Fox says

    What does smugness taste like? How does it smell? :)

    Um…better than the truth?

    In seriousness, I will cop drinking probably too much sugared and carbonated beverages. But I don’t really have any other chemical vices. Aside from maybe fat and carbohydrates. The usual American stuff.

  49. Tenebras says

    @Nate Carr I can testify to that. Anytime I drink stuff with artificial sweetener in it, it makes me feel super hungry, to the point of getting the shakes as if my blood sugar was low!

    Pepsi, Coke… Why bother with either when the deliciousness that is Kutztown Birch Beer exists? ;D