Coca-Cola Christmas Truck coming to Kilkenny
A local councillor has said the use of the Parade by the famous Coca Cola truck is inappropriate, and has called for more clarity on the permitted uses of Kilkenny City's civic spaces.
At Friday's budget meeting of Kilkenny County Council, Green Party councillor Malcolm Noonan asked whether Coca Cola were required to pay to use the area for its event, given that council staff would be working during the day to facilitate the visit.
Speaking to the Kilkenny People, he said the Parade should not be used for the promotion of products that endanger children's health, and called for a more robust policy on the use of civic spaces 'to prevent them being used as promotional outlets for corporate multinationals'.
Cllr Noonan said that the wrong signal was being sent out as a local authority in endorsing a product which is contributing to high levels of obesity among young people. He said that Kilkenny was a signatory of the World Health Organisation's 'Healthy City' programme, which obliges signatories to work towards healthy policies in our urban centres.
"Furthermore this is not the first time that this and other multinational soft drinks manufacturers have used our civic spaces to promote and distribute product," said the Green Party councillor.
"I have in the past called for this to be regulated and if the space is to be used, then a charge should be in place, the revenue of which should be ringfenced for community projects."
While he conceded the truck is hugely popular, he did not agree with an assertion that it was an intrinsic part of Christmas, but a 'corporate hijack of the festive season' used to shift product. He said it was a community space that should be free of the pressures of advertising and commercial promotion.
"I would say I'm in a minority of one in my opposition to this, but I stand firm that this is promoting a product which is hugely damaging to children's health and as such, we should not be giving it a platform in our public civic space," said Cllr Noonan.