He was the ultimate insider. A Coca-Cola marketing executive and cutthroat example of the adman focused on market domination, not just the best selling soft drink in the world, but capturing what Coke called the biggest "Share of the Stomach" period.
But today, Todd Putman says apologies are due from all the Madison Avenue types selling 78 2 liter bottles of sugary soft drinks per person, per year in the United States. That's 41 gallons each or enough to fill the fuel tank of a mid- size truck. "A lot of people who have spent a lot of time selling a lot of cokes have some karma debt that they feel they owe. I certainly do." Putman says among his regrets, during the years he was a coke executive the company focused on teenagers, hispanics and african-americans because that was the growth market.
Coca-Cola says Putman's information about sales tactics is old, that Americans are drinking fewer sugary drinks while obesity still goes up. And despite a Yale study directly linking soda to obesity and disease, Coke's north american president claims that there is no scientific evidence that connects sugary beverages to obesity.