Mountain Dew Releases 'Prohibition' Ads Attacking Bloomberg’s Soda Ban Proposal

The '70s-style advertisements can be found around the streets of New York City.

These vintage-looking ads from Mountain Dew were recently plastered all over New York City. (Photo: New York Art Department)

Sep 11, 2012
Kelly Zhou has written on a variety of topics for TakePart, predominantly politics, education, and wildlife.

The vote on New York City's proposed ban on large sugary drinks is fast approaching, and soda companies aren't going down without a fight. In a dig aimed at Mayor Michael Bloomberg's "nanny state," last week, Mountain Dew released old school-style advertising that compares the ban to the Prohibition era.

The “wave” Mountain Dew logo from the ‘70s and ‘80s is prominently displayed on a realistic-looking but fictional soda can, labeled “17 ounces.” The soda ban, proposed by Bloomberg, would remove sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces from regulated food establishments such as movie theaters. The goal is to reduce the widespread problem of obesity, which affects more than half of all adults in New York City.

MORE: New York's Mayor Wants to Ban Large Sugary Drinks

“Obesity is a nationwide problem, and all over the United States, public health officials are wringing their hands saying, ‘Oh, this is terrible,’ ” Bloomberg told The New York Times. “New York City is not about wringing your hands; it’s about doing something. I think that’s what the public wants the mayor to do.”

The ads, which were created with the help of New York Art Department, came on the tails of other protests, such as the “Million Big Gulp March” and radio ads fighting against the soda restriction. The vintage-looking ads started papering the city on Sept. 5.

New York Art Department explains on its blog that the work is part of a series for Mountain Dew, to “produce a series of powerful Mountain Dew images specifically for New York City’s critical eye.”

“As we started playing around with the brand’s vintage soda bottles and cans, a different conversation around soda began picking up momentum in the city: A proposed city-wide ban on drinks larger than 16 ounces,” the blog says. “We dismissed it at first but, as the topic gained steam, we thought: ‘What next, back to Prohibition… ?’”

New Yorkers who come across the posters are encouraged to take a photo and post it on Instagram with the hashtag #dewyorkcity.

Will it make a difference? We'll know soon. The Board of Health will cast a final vote on the soda ban proposal on Sept. 13.

Are you a big fan of giant sodas or could you care less if they get banned? Let us know in the comments.

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