The UK Public Health Responsibility Deal proposed that public health is the responsibility of all and that businesses can help to create the right environment for good health. ParkLives is a scheme funded by Coca-Cola that delivers physical activity programmes in partnership with Local Authorities across the UK.
Such partnerships are commonly termed Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategies and in addition to their stated philanthropic aims, have been shown to have the potential for economically beneficial returns for the business (Du et al, 2010). This study explores how Coca-Cola's involvement in Parklives manifests in the experiences of participants as shared on social media and considers how this might subsequently influence the wider socio-ecological environment.</p>
We conducted a content analysis of related social media output taking a critical approach to the interpretation of visual images. We took a systematic approach to the analysis of images by reviewing all images and related text published on twitter containing the word #Parklives. This was in accordance with Rose (2016) who recommended that sampling should be representative and significant. The content was analysed using a coding system whereby codes used were exhaustive, exclusive, enlightening and replicable (Rose, 2016)</p>
All tweets (n=176) with the hashtag #Parklives were analysed. Of these 176, 104 contained images and they were generated from 58 accounts, a third of which were local authority or ParkLives staff accounts. 68% of images were of children and young people and 36% of the tweets contained the Coca-Cola logo.</p>
Many of the activities were designed to engage with young people and in many of these participants were exposed to both physical activity and the Coca-Cola brand. The process of delivering the programme and then producing, publishing and broadcasting such images alongside the Coca-Cola brand would appear to be a success as a CSR project. In the environmental context, Parklives has enabled Coca-Cola to become one of UKActive's eight membership council members, a position of influence involved in lobbying government on physical activity and health issues.</p>
<p>In their "Responsible Marketing Charter", Coca-Cola UK are quite clear about their stated intentions to avoid marketing their brand to under 12s, clearly acknowledging the potential for harm, yet many of the activities are specifically targeted at under-12s contravening this stated aspiration.</p>
Local Authorities need to consider all consequences of allowing Coca-Cola access to their communities as this has potential implications at both individual and environmental levels.</p>
<p>A video version of this presentation and associated links can also be found at <a href="http://www.benjanefitness.com/news-1/HEPAEurope2016" rel="nofollow"><code>[www.benjanefitness.com]</code></a></p>