/ OPINION: Coca-Cola and Climbing - A Bittersweet Collaboration

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UKC Articles - on 27 Apr 2017
Ashima Shiraishi, 3 kbEllen Barber comments on US teenage climbing prodigy Ashima Shiraishi's recently announced sponsorship deal with Coca-Cola, which met with an outpour of strong reactions online.

'We could view this sponsorship in two ways: we could get angry at how Coca-Cola has invaded our climbing world that is based on being in touch with nature and fill it with sugary advertising perfectly wrapped in plastic. On the other hand, we could try and see the glass half full.'

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14
MusicalMountaineer - on 27 Apr 2017
In reply to UKC Articles:

Haha!

(laughing at the 'OPINION' title, rather than the content. Very droll.)
1
1poundSOCKS - on 27 Apr 2017
In reply to MusicalMountaineer:
> laughing at the 'OPINION' title, rather than the content. Very droll.

Why didn't we get that on the MoNC news article?

And this from the article:

> Of course, there is also the fact that the product itself is unhealthy and filled with sugar and chemicals.

Is this an opinion of a fact?
Post edited at 16:45
JHiley on 27 Apr 2017
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

Well, everything is full of chemicals so I guess that bit is a fact.

Ban all chemicals, only sub-atomic particles allowed! No radiation either!
1
nclarey - on 27 Apr 2017
In reply to UKC Articles:

Good on her for securing a high-profile sponsor to enable her to further pursue her climbing goals.

As for Coke's green credentials I think you'll find she's holding an environmentally-friendly glass bottle. And besides, how are Patagonia going to make those fleeces without plenty of plastic bottles for raw materials?
5
1poundSOCKS - on 27 Apr 2017
In reply to nclarey:

> Well, everything is full of chemicals so I guess that bit is a fact.


The unhealthy bit, not the chemicals. I have a can of the stuff occasionally. Does it have a measurable effect on my health? Sure you can drink loads and end up obese, but that applies to most things you eat and drink.
Robert Durran - on 27 Apr 2017
In reply to UKC Articles:

She seems to think that we all love Red Bull (or are at least reconciled to it) for its generous support of climbing. I get the impression that Red Bull is pretty universally despised amongst climbers for some of the stuff it has sponsored.
4
nclarey - on 27 Apr 2017
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

Sponsor secures endorsement from a climber. Climbing gets a higher profile from association with a well-known brand. Climber gets to focus on climbing more. Seems like everyone wins to me.

Can't see how sugared water is any better or worse for you than a pint of beer and I'm quite confident we've all done our fair share of consuming both...
10
Mick Ward - on 27 Apr 2017
In reply to UKC Articles:

> we are now just like any other sport in the Olympics with big name sponsors.

That's it then, is it - game over?

Mick
1
1poundSOCKS - on 27 Apr 2017
In reply to nclarey:

> Seems like everyone wins to me.

I guess the fear is that drinks like Coca Cola contribute to global obesity, and these high profile (for a climber) sponsored athletes will increase consumption and hence increase global obesity, and hence be detrimental to overall health.

But I'm not sure what makes Coca Cola inherently unhealthy. It might be for all I know, but it would be good to understand why that is a fact.
HeMa on 27 Apr 2017
In reply to nclarey:

> And besides, how are Patagonia going to make those fleeces without plenty of plastic bottles for raw materials?

They Ain't. Pile and fleece are dead. Go read about micro plastics in water.

Fact or fiction. Or both, but which claim is which. TobyA is not elligble.
nclarey - on 27 Apr 2017
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

It's chocablock with sugar in an easily consumable form. It contributes to obesity in the same way as the easy availability of beer contributes to alcoholism - have too much of it too often and it's bad for you.

If people take responsibility for their own health - dietary habits and exercise - I just feel these are non-issues.
nclarey - on 27 Apr 2017
In reply to HeMa:

Was being slightly silly there in case it wasn't obvious - have no idea if people are still making fleeces from recycled bottles or not - though it appears Patagonia still do...!

http://www.patagonia.com/recycled-polyester.html

But yes, sounds like it's an issue that's being looked into. Maybe just don't wash your fleeces

https://www.outsideonline.com/2091876/patagonias-new-study-finds-fleece-jackets-are-serious-pollutan...
1poundSOCKS - on 27 Apr 2017
In reply to nclarey:

> have too much of it too often and it's bad for you.

I agree. But that applies to anything, or it wouldn't be "too much".

> If people take responsibility for their own health - dietary habits and exercise - I just feel these are non-issues.

But if you know that by signing a contract to promote a product, because you'll get paid, and you know that global health will be affected, then isn't that just a way to offload responsibility? It does depend on a belief in free will.
nclarey - on 27 Apr 2017
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

> But if you know that by signing a contract to promote a product, because you'll get paid, and you know that global health will be affected, then isn't that just a way to offload responsibility? It does depend on a belief in free will.

Yes I suppose I'm guilty of thinking people should take responsibility for their own health and dietary habits. I suppose when it comes to plugging products directly at kids I'm pretty cautious, but I'd extend the above by saying as a parent you need to take responsibility for your child's health and dietary habits as well as your own.

So no, junior, you can't have a Coke at every meal, despite the fact that this awesome Japanese climber seems to like it.
2
stani on 27 Apr 2017
In reply to UKC Articles:

I don't like this article.
5
olddirtydoggy - on 27 Apr 2017
In reply to UKC Articles:

Non of this will affect our climbing. I just can't bring myself to care but find the fury of some a reason to post this. Good for her, she got paid.
5
ian bryant - on 27 Apr 2017
In reply to UKC Articles:
Is there really a belief that ashima will read this see the irony and actually do the right thing in the writer's eyes? Really?? I mean, don't flatter yourself!
In my eyes coke has a better image than redbull. But they're both pretty low down there!
4
toad - on 27 Apr 2017
In reply to UKC Articles:
Worth a listen to this. Mostly about Salt, but he moves onto sugar later, and the industry strategies are broadly similar. We should probably be thinking about sugar industry sponsorship like we used to think about tobacco and f1

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08n2ltq
Robert Durran - on 27 Apr 2017
In reply to Mick Ward:

> That's it then, is it - game over? Mick

It was game over in 1953 when the Everest expedition sold out to evil, sugary Kendal Mint cake.
1
Yanis Nayu - on 27 Apr 2017
In reply to toad:

Says it all that Coke and McDonalds sponsor the Olympics. If the insidious marketing these companies use to sell their wares wasn't effective, they wouldn't do it.
planetmarshall on 27 Apr 2017
In reply to nclarey:

> Yes I suppose I'm guilty of thinking people should take responsibility for their own health and dietary habits.

To the degree that they can. It might seem like a free choice but advertising is not a billion pound industry for nothing. The odds are stacked against anyone trying to make a healthy choice.
5
Simonfarfaraway - on 27 Apr 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:
I blame climbbritain... no wait I mean the BMC. I propose a vote of.... oh thats been done already... oh forget it then..
Post edited at 20:34
3
Rad - on 27 Apr 2017
This is business. Why shouldn't she make a buck? If you don't like coke don't buy it.

Sugary drinks are emerging as almost as bad for you as smoking, so hopefully there will be a shift away from them, but I don't put that on Ashima's shoulders.

I see far more important issues in the world to fight to change than having Ashima promote coca cola.


5
stp - on 27 Apr 2017
In reply to UKC Articles:

I recently learned that Coca Cola is really good for cleaning toilets. It's probably more environmentally friendly than many toilet cleaners too. If we could persuade Ashima to sing it's toilet cleansing properties maybe she could be a positive force for change after all.
Robert Durran - on 27 Apr 2017
In reply to Rad:

> This is business. Why shouldn't she make a buck? If you don't like coke don't buy it.Sugary drinks are emerging as almost as bad for you as smoking.

So, if Coca-Cola or a tobacco company came along and offered you, say, £500 to cover your climbing kit in logos for a year, would you have any qualms about accepting?
4
Mick Ward - on 27 Apr 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> It was game over in 1953 when the Everest expedition sold out to evil, sugary Kendal Mint cake.

Really?

'A member of the successful Everest expedition wrote – "It was easily the most popular item on our high altitude ration – our only criticism was that we did not have enough of it."'

When I was a nipper, I shoved Kendal Mint Cake down my neck like there was no tomorrow. Didn't do me any harm - 'cos (for me and everyone I knew) it was strictly for the hills where energy expenditure was ballistic.

A bit different from Sid and Doris Slobbe necking Coca-Cola day in, day out, with minimal energy expenditure.

However the underlying (and I'd argue far more important) issue is that clearly climbing has become so mainstream that it's survived Coca-Cola's (pretty stringent, I'd imagine) vetting process. This means that beady eyes will come upon it and reckon it's a prime candidate to be asset-stripped of its soul and 'commercially developed'.

Oddly enough, when news of this broke a few weeks ago, I was prompted to write an article, 'The Commoditisation of Climbing' because it's about far more than just this. Then got waylaid by other stuff (too many articles/new routes - too little time).

My original comment was prompted by amazement that the article managed to dismiss 130 years of rock climbing history in 15 words.

Mick

P.S. Didn't Aleister Crowley have opium in his (specially made up) Kendal Mint Cake?
Big Steve - on 27 Apr 2017
In reply to UKC Articles:
I've thought for a long time, why do things like coke bottles need to be recycled? Surely reusing is better, why recycle a coke bottle into another coke bottle when it already is a perfectly good coke bottle. Why can't it just be taken back to the factory, cleaned and reused?
SenzuBean - on 27 Apr 2017
In reply to Rad:

> This is business. Why shouldn't she make a buck? If you don't like coke don't buy it.Sugary drinks are emerging as almost as bad for you as smoking, so hopefully there will be a shift away from them, but I don't put that on Ashima's shoulders. I see far more important issues in the world to fight to change than having Ashima promote coca cola.

The problem is that we won't shift away if people just say "I'm just doing my job" - and we know what happens when everyone says that. Ethics are everyone's responsibility.
Lastly nice touch to finish with a bit of whataboutery. ;)
1
jon on 27 Apr 2017
In reply to Big Steve:

> I've thought for a long time, why do things like coke bottles need to be recycled? Surely reusing is better, why recycle a coke bottle into another coke bottle when it already is a perfectly good coke bottle. Why can't it just be taken back to the factory, cleaned and reused?

Like milk bottles used to be.
BleausardUK - on 27 Apr 2017
In reply to UKC Articles:

Re Red Bull, taking over one of the Fontainebleau forest's most popular areas and one of its most famous problems (the Cul de Chien) for a day-long bouldering comp is NOT a "positive input into our sport". This was last year, but I understand there are plans for a repeat event this year in a different part of the forest. Not good, but it has the support of the ONF (Forestry office) and Bleausard celebrities like Jacky Godoffe.
nb - on 27 Apr 2017
In reply to Big Steve:

> I've thought for a long time, why do things like coke bottles need to be recycled? Surely reusing is better, why recycle a coke bottle into another coke bottle when it already is a perfectly good coke bottle. Why can't it just be taken back to the factory, cleaned and reused?

Are you being ironic?! This was standard practise 40 years ago. Bottles had a deposit on them.
1
toad - on 27 Apr 2017
In reply to nb:

ah. the Corona wagon.
Dogwatch - on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to UKC Articles:

"If we support Ashima as the positive climbing community that we are, we should have faith that she will lead the way."

Good grief, she's a gifted young climber, not the messiah.
1
Graeme Alderson on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to Mick Ward:

Come on Mick, get with the times, it's Wayne and Waynetta Slob ;-)
Trangia on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to stp:

> I recently learned that Coca Cola is really good for cleaning toilets. It's probably more environmentally friendly than many toilet cleaners too. If we could persuade Ashima to sing it's toilet cleansing properties maybe she could be a positive force for change after all.

Try putting an old tarnished penny into a glass of Coca Cola, see what happens to it, then think of your stomach lining!
1
Mick Ward - on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

As ever, I stand corrected by your good self!

I remember a mate (brilliant research chemist, though unfortunately direly alcoholic) assuring me that the original recipe was for rust-remover. Have never known whether this was a wind-up, urban myth or horrifyingly true. Isn't it claimed that if you put a tooth in Coca-Cola, it dissolves frighteningly quickly?

Mick
summo on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to Trangia:

> Try putting an old tarnished penny into a glass of Coca Cola, see what happens to it, then think of your stomach lining!

Try putting a penny in your digestive juices already in your stomach and see what happens. Your stomach has a special lining to contain the digestive acid etc.. otherwise you would digest yourself. I think the damage is done to things like teeth though that don't have this protection.
1
Rad - on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to SenzuBean:

How is this ethics? She's not promoting eating lead paint or doing anything illegal. Oh, and I'm in the US, where 150M of us are doing a facepalm every day. I'll have quite a mark in another hundred days.
2
Rad - on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

Probably not for tobacco, but I'd do it for coke. Are you ready with the stickers?
1
galpinos on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to Trangia:

Have you tried it in lemon juice, ketchup, Tabasco, vinegar and salt etc? Would you avoid consuming them because of their affect on the oxides of a penny?

1
galpinos on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to Mick Ward:

> As ever, I stand corrected by your good self!I remember a mate (brilliant research chemist, though unfortunately direly alcoholic) assuring me that the original recipe was for rust-remover. Have never known whether this was a wind-up, urban myth or horrifyingly true. Isn't it claimed that if you put a tooth in Coca-Cola, it dissolves frighteningly quickly? Mick

That may be because i contains phosphoric acid which is used as a rust remover? It's also used in other food products, anti nausea medication, dental applications etc.....
galpinos on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to Rad:

> Sugary drinks are emerging as almost as bad for you as smoking, so hopefully there will be a shift away from them, but I don't put that on Ashima's shoulders.

So, if that picture was her with a fag hanging out of her mouth and a Malboro Lights* banner behind her you'd be cool with that?

*I have no idea what fags kids smoke nowadays.
summo on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to galpinos:

> Have you tried it in lemon juice, ketchup, Tabasco, vinegar and salt etc? Would you avoid consuming them because of their affect on the oxides of a penny?

Many shampoos are just a mix of scented acids. Head and shoulders especially.
planetmarshall on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to Dogwatch:

> Good grief, she's a gifted young climber, not the messiah.

No she isn't, she's a very naughty girl.
1
planetmarshall on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to Mick Ward:

> Isn't it claimed that if you put a tooth in Coca-Cola, it dissolves frighteningly quickly? Mick

While I suspect that a daily can of Coke is not the secret to a long and healthy life, alas most of these claims are urban myths ( or Simpsons episodes if I recall correctly ).

http://www.snopes.com/cokelore/acid.asp

thommi - on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to UKC Articles:

"As part of her lifestyle she tries to eat organic..."

and the point of this little titbit of information is?
planetmarshall on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to galpinos:

> That may be because i contains phosphoric acid which is used as a rust remover?

Only in very small amounts. See the link in my reply to Mick.

galpinos on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to planetmarshall:

Yep, I was suggesting that the "origin story" mick had heard may have been an urban myth that came about as one of the ingredients is used as a rust remover.

In general, I think people would be pretty shocked to see some of the alternative uses for a lot of ingredients in food and drink they buy.

As you said,

> While I suspect that a daily can of Coke is not the secret to a long and healthy life

it's not the worst thing in the world either! I find the fact it's getting it's greedy corporate fingers into climbing quite depressing though, more so that Red Bull and I'm not quite sure why.
Trangia on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to galpinos:

> Have you tried it in lemon juice, ketchup, Tabasco, vinegar and salt etc? Would you avoid consuming them because of their affect on the oxides of a penny?

Interestingly they are all ingredients that I consume very sparingly, if at all, but not because of the effect they have on pennies
galpinos on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to Trangia:

> Interestingly they are all ingredients that I consume very sparingly, if at all, but not because of the effect they have on pennies

Touche! I think my lemon juice consumption peaks on Shrove Tuesday.......
eb132 on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

Hello Robert,

I am sorry you felt I insinuated that we all love Red Bull... not the case at all, but I have noticed that through the Coca Cola discussions Red Bull was hardly mentioned, as if we have forgotten how equally bad it is for our health and the environment? I was really more theorizing that maybe this is because of the events Red Bull sponsors and organizes? Or we are simply just 'used' to them being in the scene now...?

-Ellen
1
eb132 on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to nclarey:

This is very cool!
eb132 on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to stani:

Thank you for your constructive feedback...
eb132 on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to ian bryant:

Worth a shot?
eb132 on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to stp:

I'll give this a go tonight and let you know what the result is :p though I use Ecover which I think is probably still better for the environment than Coke...

http://us.ecover.com/
eb132 on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to Big Steve:

Hello Steve,

This is a really good point and I should have brought it up in the article actually... it is these kinds of ideas that are worthwhile taking to Coca Cola, who know maybe the will like the idea? Their number was at the end of the article if you want to give it a shot?

-Ellen
lordyosch - on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to UKC Articles:

'Full of chemicals' Oh please!

Meaningless scaremongering. The only thing that isn't full of chemicals is a vacuum!

I for one am quite the fan of Calcium carbonate. (Limestone). The whole tone of this article is a bit of a bleat.
3
GrahamD - on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to UKC Articles:

I really can't see the big deal here. For a start Coke is no worse environmentally than any other 'stuff' we live with daily so to say coke's sponsorship is bad on environmental grounds is weak at best. Climbers are the worst environmental hypocrits with their high mileage, high air miles and 'cleaning' of natural environments.

And its just another sugar laden drink - useful as a hangover treatment or energy rush (there is a reason pro cyclists use the stuff occasionaly). I'ts not unique in that. I don't suppose a non stop diet of energy gels would be any better.

I think the problem here is climbers themselves. Somehow they see themselves as slightly anarchic and better than the system so what really rankles is the involvement of large corporations rather than the products themselves. Sometimes people need to look at the real world.
1
Simon4 - on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to lordyosch:
> The whole tone of this article is a bit of a bleat.

But nothing like as bad as the preachy, sanctimonious, confrontational one about the Edinburgh university climbing club.

It is all relative, by that standard it is quite measured and nothing like so self-righteous.
Post edited at 10:31
1
Robert Durran - on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

> To say coke's sponsorship is bad on environmental grounds is weak at best.

Agreed.

> And its just another sugar laden drink - useful as a hangover treatment or energy rush (there is a reason pro cyclists use the stuff occasionaly). I'ts not unique in that. I don't suppose a non stop diet of energy gels would be any better.

Agreed again, though Energy gels are made of slow release carbohydrate (Maltodextrin) to avoid a sugar rush and dip.

> I think the problem here is climbers themselves. Somehow they see themselves as slightly anarchic and better than the system so what really rankles is the involvement of large corporations.

Anarchic, yes, hopefully, though not necessarily better, and I think that has always been a very valuable part of climbing culture - it is not a problem. So yes, I think the real issue is that Coca-Cola now see climbing as ripe for exploitation; it is a wake up call, a sympton of climbing's sad slide towards mainstream sport by which it can only lose some of it's character and individuality.


1
Robert Durran - on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to Mick Ward:
> Really?

My comparison with Kendal Mint cake was tongue in cheek and ironic. Nothing wrong with either Kendal Mint or Coca Cola as a sugary source of quick energy (I know people who routinely carry Coca Cola winter climbing for its energy and isotonic properties).

> However the underlying (and I'd argue far more important) issue is that clearly climbing has become so mainstream that it's survived Coca-Cola's (pretty stringent, I'd imagine) vetting process. This means that beady eyes will come upon it and reckon it's a prime candidate to be asset-stripped of its soul and 'commercially developed'.

Absolutely. I would feel more reassured about the health of climbing's future if Ashima was being sponsored by a small and newly legalised Colorado cannabis grower rather than by Coca Cola.
Post edited at 11:05
1
stp - on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

So would you still support her if she was taking sponsorship money from a tobacco corporation?
GrahamD - on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> So yes, I think the real issue is that Coca-Cola now see climbing as ripe for exploitation; it is a wake up call, a sympton of climbing's sad slide towards mainstream sport by which it can only lose some of it's character and individuality.

I'm not so sure this is true, given how many facets climbing has. I think it just represents the rapid growth of one particular facet of the activity. Its always possible to do climbing 'old skool' and totally escape the Coke influence if thats what takes your fancy. Or dip in and out of the commercialised sector at will.

The mistake I think we are all guilty of is to view climbing as a single activity whereas its actually a loose collection of almost unrelated activities: There isn't a lot of overlap between an indoor bouldering competition and someone wandering up the Pyg track but they are both, in their own way, climbing.
GrahamD - on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to stp:

Why do you think I 'support her' ? but in any case its a poor comparison. There is no good smoking in moderation.
he'snotthemessiah on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to GrahamD:
Its is currently nice to be part of a sport/community that seems to have escaped the issues/opinions/pressures that come from profit margins, pressure and mainstream media criticisms etc..

Although I am a bit jealous of her because I want to meet Santa who also works for Coca Cola......
Post edited at 12:27
snoop6060 - on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to UKC Articles:

Can you do a piece on the sugar content of kendel mint cake? And the caffeine content of the coffee from outside?
1
kmhphoto - on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

"Agreed again, though Energy gels are made of slow release carbohydrate (Maltodextrin) to avoid a sugar rush and dip."

This is a common misconception about Maltodextrin. Its used in sports supplements because of its high glycemic load and low osmolarity which enables it to be absorbed quickly.
benmorr - on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to UKC Articles:

I wonder how much Ashima knows about the company - and how much any of us know about the companies that produce the products we buy. It's good to see how much people care though.
Congratulations to Ashima for being good enough to be sponsored.

But on Coca-Cola, there have been people putting the case, in court, that it can kill you if you attempt to unionise the workforce.
Mike Highbury - on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to benmorr:
> But on Coca-Cola, there have been people putting the case, in court, that it can kill you if you attempt to unionise the workforce.

Someone has something sensible to say!

The disputes in Columbia and elsewhere, yes?
Mick Ward - on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

> I think the problem here is climbers themselves. Somehow they see themselves as slightly anarchic and better than the system so what really rankles is the involvement of large corporations rather than the products themselves. Sometimes people need to look at the real world.

Graham, relative to the system, we are anarchy. That's what the bureaucrats would say and, from their point of view, they'd be right. Off we go and pretty much do our own thing. Wear a helmet if you want to, get insurance if you want to, tell someone where you're going if you want to - or not, to some/all of these. Go soloing if you want to...

Further down, you make the point that climbing is a loose collection of varied activities. Totally agree. But is that how big business and the bureaucracies will view it? More anarchy (from their point of view)!

Totall agree with Robert. The very fact that climbing is now deemed worthy of serious investment by Coca-Cola shows how mainstream - and widespread - it's become. From a corporate raider point of view, it's ripe for takeover. If that happens, we'll all be the poorer.

Re looking at the real world. I do - and it's pretty f*cked up. I don't want climbing to go the same way.

Mick
Robert Durran - on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to kmhphoto:

> "Agreed again, though Energy gels are made of slow release carbohydrate (Maltodextrin) to avoid a sugar rush and dip."This is a common misconception about Maltodextrin. Its used in sports supplements because of its high glycemic load and low osmolarity which enables it to be absorbed quickly.

Thanks, but had to look those terms up! Does that mean it raises blood glucose quickly then? In which case is it the opposite of what I thought (gradual release of energy)?
GrahamD - on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to he'snotthemessiah:

> Its is currently nice to be part of a sport/community that seems to have escaped the issues/opinions/pressures that come from profit margins, pressure and mainstream media criticisms etc..

Have you walked up Mount Snowdon recently ? they are all part of the climbing community. On the whole, though, I'd agree - but that facet of the activity isn't likely to be changed by the presence of a few professional climbers.
GrahamD - on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to Mick Ward:

But only one small - albeit - growing facet of climbing is deemed worthy of serious commercial intervention. Actually 3: the 'sexy' competition circuit, the 'X treme' part of it which is always likely to be minority participation and expedition / guided. But non of those overlap with my climbing worlsd and probably the majority of the climbing world. Just how do Coke propose to exploit the average Stanage weekend warrior or Rambler ?
johncook - on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

You can almost guarantee than anything that ends in ...ose (a sugar) will be absorbed very quickly into the bloodstream and metabolised very quickly to produce energy for immediate use (If you don't use it you will get fat, hence the coca cola problem with less active people) Your body will, as a result, produce insulin to counter the high blood concentrations. If you overproduce insulin , or you use the 'sugar' before it's interaction with the insulin you will get a sugar crash, which can be very debilitating.
There are the odd .....ose that is still a sugar, but is a much larger molecule which we cannot absorb, and in some cases cannot even digest, eg, cellulose, the main constituent of plants after water.
Mick Ward - on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

> Just how do Coke propose to exploit the average Stanage weekend warrior or Rambler ?

They don't. Multinationals have zero interest in niche markets. But when climbing becomes sexy to mass audiences, sooner or later, the politicos and the legislators will get in on the action ('cos, hey, it's become ripe territory for them too). Then it's compulsory helmets, compulsory insurance, compulsory (wanky) qualifications, compulsory (even wankier) continuous professional(!?) development. Oh and compulsory DBS checks if you're on a crag with kids.

Mick
GrahamD - on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to Mick Ward:

I'd argue the ship already sailed. Rock climbing became mainstream when it went olympics and climbing in general (in its broadest sense of including all hill walkers) has been mainstream for ages. Even our current PM is a hill walker.
Pilo - on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to UKC Articles:

It's THE number one symbol of American cultural hegemony in the entire world. That's the reason this is such a disaster. When some people in India are malnourished with a hungry family and spend a quarter of their daily wages on a single bottle coke ignoring local produce it's a really sad state of affairs and mostly due to the brainwashing from subliminal advertisng. You can't walk around any town or village in India without having the cocacola symbol burned into your brain from every wall and sign board. For climbers to encourage and promote this is a really sad state of affairs.
Climbers hand in hand with American hegemony, globalization and corporate greed. Oh dear. We can now look forward to watching the best climbers with huge logo's on them suggesting we eat macdonalds and drink coke.
Will more young, new and impressionable 'weekend warriors' at stanage and malham drink coke and eat macdonalds because they see top climbers getting strong on it, sorry to say but... yes.

2
thommi - on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to Mick Ward:
Hi Mick, I agree with everything you say bud, but I do think DBS checks for anyone taking responsibility (professionally) for children is a good idea.

edit. Just re-read your post and not sure though that that is what you meant.
Post edited at 17:13
Mick Ward - on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

I think the ship's sailing, not already sailed. Change is only occasionally digital (e.g. Berlin wall there one minute, getting torn down the next). In my experience, there's a long incremental period, followed by an exponential one, followed by "Pop!" The "Pop!" (which is usually a bad "Pop!") is what people think of as change but it's really the culmination of a long process.

For instance, did rock climbing go mainstream in the minute when it was declared an Olympic event? (Before it wasn't; suddenly it was... Somehow I don't think so.)

I'm not nitpicking; there are serious issues underlying. If we think the ship's sailed, we've already lost. If we ignore its sailing, one day we'll wake up with a "Pop!" - everything compulsory.

The time to be aware is now. Because, unless I'm much mistaken (and I very much hope I am) we will have to fight for our rights - and fight hard.

Not wishing to be too critical about the original article but in my view the underlying issue of climbing becoming mainstream (litmus tests - Ashima/Coca-Cola, vast media coverage of Dawn Wall FFS and relative ignoring of second free ascent) is far more important for us.

Mick
Mick Ward - on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to thommi:

> Hi Mick, I agree with everything you say bud, but I do think DBS checks for anyone taking responsibility (professionally) for children is a good idea. edit. Just re-read your post and not sure though that that is what you meant.

I just meant being on the crag with kids around - or likely to be around. But there's a continuum of being on the crag with kids, being in a party with kids, taking responsibility non-professionally with kids, taking responsibility professionally with kids.

Would certainly agree with DBS checks for the latter.

Mick
SenzuBean - on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to Rad:

> How is this ethics? She's not promoting eating lead paint or doing anything illegal. Oh, and I'm in the US, where 150M of us are doing a facepalm every day. I'll have quite a mark in another hundred days.

Supporting unethical companies - is an ethical decision.
What is illegal and what are ethical are two totally separate things - but that's another discussion.

Come to Canada - very little facepalming to be had here


stp - on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to Pilo:

Well said.

Coca Cola have been disastrous for Indians in other ways. They've depleted much of the local water supplies with their '58 water-intensive bottling plants' and have polluted the country by doling out 'cadmium-laden waste sludge' as fertilizer to tribal farmers.

https://www.thoughtco.com/coca-cola-groundwater-depletion-in-india-1204204
Pilo - on 28 Apr 2017
In reply to stp:

It's very unfortunate for the locals but true. As well brainwashing simple village people that it's healthy and worth most of their wages they have absolutely NO regard for the damage the factories do to local land, peoples health and precious resources like water. They are evil criminals who see only profit, plain and simple. Thankfully not everybody in India falls for it.

http://killercoke.org/crimes_india.php
timjones - on 29 Apr 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> She seems to think that we all love Red Bull (or are at least reconciled to it) for its generous support of climbing. I get the impression that Red Bull is pretty universally despised amongst climbers for some of the stuff it has sponsored.

In my experience some climbers drink Red Bull, others don't and couldn't care less who or what they sponsor, only a vocal few are opinionated enough to despise a canned drink.

Climbers are no different to anyone else.
1
timjones - on 29 Apr 2017
In reply to Trangia:

> Try putting an old tarnished penny into a glass of Coca Cola, see what happens to it, then think of your stomach lining!

Try putting an old tarnished penny into your stomach and see what happens to it ;)
timjones - on 29 Apr 2017
In reply to Mick Ward:

> If that happens, we'll all be the poorer. Re looking at the real world. I do - and it's pretty f*cked up. I don't want climbing to go the same way.

Maybe we should have stopped the rot when we noticed that climbing was being commoditised by professional instructors and indoor walls?

1
Mick Ward - on 29 Apr 2017
In reply to timjones:

Well I have absolutely nothing against either professional instructors or indoor walls per se. Good luck to them - as long as the former don't wreck the environment. And while I suspect climbing is becoming commoditised, I don't think it's happened yet. In fact, in many ways, I'd argue that currently climbing is in a healthier position than at any time I can remember - in the (gulp!) last 51 years.

It's the future I worry about. And the future starts in the present. That's why I think we need to be aware of commoditisation trends now.

Mick
thommi - on 29 Apr 2017
In reply to timjones:

And of course...gulp....ukc! ????
Graeme Alderson on 29 Apr 2017
In reply to timjones:

Did an indoor wall invent the JB helmet or the Whillans harness?
paul__in_sheffield - on 29 Apr 2017
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

> Come on Mick, get with the times, it's Wayne and Waynetta Slob ;-)

Now you mention it, the fridge at the Works is very well stocked with Coca Cola. Maybe get them to sponsor the Mini-Works? #captiveaudience
nclarey - on 29 Apr 2017
In reply to Mick Ward:

So go on Mick - explain what you mean by "commoditisation".

* What is it? What does it look like?
* Which sports would you consider "commoditised?"
* In what way has "commoditisation" proved harmful to these sports?

Because as I see it sports which you might consider "commoditised" - i.e. which I take to mean "have big corporate money chasing after viewers or participants" - all have thriving amateur competitions. The "big corporate money" results in athletes who can dedicate themselves fully to their chosen sport and don't have to spend time during their peak performance period on coaching or route setting or similar; it results in higher standards in the sport and a deeper talent pool; and it results in increased interest in the sport particularly by younger people. As I see it the biggest risk in climbing is that it becomes an "old white man's sport" like golf and fails to attract younger participants in sufficient numbers. I just don't see how big corporates sponsoring athletes is at all negative.
jon on 29 Apr 2017
In reply to nclarey:

> and it results in increased interest in the sport

You say that like it's a good thing.
nclarey - on 29 Apr 2017
In reply to jon:

> You say that like it's a good thing.

Well given part of the argument here appears to be "Coke is so unhealthy and makes people obese", a great way to combat that tendency is to get young people more into sport, and I'd argue that sponsorship increases profile => increases interest => increases involvement (especially by young people) => increases health for everyone by far more than it's offset by any "unhealthiness" from having the odd soft drink.

So yes, I think increased interest in the sport *is* a good thing. Our role as existing members of the climbing community is to ensure that the rich history of personal responsibility, independence, responsible use of the natural environment and respect for the inherent risks of the sport are maintained without hand-wringing legalities intruding in the future. I'd argue the best way to do that would be to actively support organisations that represent these interests nationally without resorting to in-fighting
timjones - on 29 Apr 2017
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

No, of course they didn't, even though I'm sure that their inventors were no more averse to sponsorship than any of todays climbers ;)

I merely gave 2 examples of commoditisation, there are as you suggest plenty of others.



jon on 29 Apr 2017
In reply to nclarey:

To be honest, I wasn't thinking about the kids.
Mick Ward - on 29 Apr 2017
In reply to nclarey:

> So go on Mick - explain what you mean by "commoditisation".

Not sure I'm mad keen on your tone. Would be surprised if you were quite so gung ho if we were standing face to face.

But just to indulge you:


* What is it? What does it look like?

What it feels like (and feeling is the operative term) is that the soul's been removed and things have been dumbed down. Like education, for instance.


* Which sports would you consider "commoditised?"

Am not an expert on sports - and I don't regard climbing as a sport. But it seems to me that many (but hopefully not all) martial arts have become commoditised - like education, dumbed down, soul removed.

(A mate of mine once remarked about First Dan gradings in Shotokan, "I want to see blood on the gi." Not a popular sentiment these days, I would imagine.)


* In what way has "commoditisation" proved harmful to these sports?

Soul removed.


Mick
Mick Ward - on 29 Apr 2017
In reply to nclarey:

> which I take to mean "have big corporate money chasing after viewers or participants"

Actually I don't agree with your definition, so we're at cross purposes from the onset. But am knackered from a hard day out (wasn't commodised, that's for sure) so will have to leave it for now.

Mick
Pilo - on 29 Apr 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

Tell me a drinks company that has done as much damage to families and the environment as coca cola in India. Yes I know it's far away from your comfort zone but they are still human beings and not as knowing or cynical as us. To you it's just another drink like any other but to them it's a symbol of health and beauty. It has been so over advertised and misleading that people actually believe that it has a special formula that makes you stronger and more healthy.

You can say 'For a start Coke is no worse environmentally than any other 'stuff' we live with'

Report on Pesticides in Coke' Beverages

Please GrahamD try to read this.....

The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) issued a report of test results regarding unacceptable levels of pesticides in Coca-Cola soft drinks being sold throughout India. The India Resource Center, reported that the study found high levels of lindane, a confirmed carcinogen, sometimes as high as 140 times those allowed by EU and BIS standards; chlorpyrifos, a neurotoxin, sometimes as high as 200 times those allowed by EU and BIS standards; heptachlor, which is banned in India and not used in the US since 1988, was found in 71% of samples, at levels 4 times higher than the proposed BIS standards; and malathion, a pesticide that was found in 38.6% of the samples tested. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends that workers wait at least 12 hours before entering an area where malathion has been applied.

"The Indian Parliament has banned the sale of Coke and Pepsi products in its cafeteria," Srivastava added. "The parliamentarians should take the next logical step, and ban the sale of Coke products in the entire country." He said the ban came as a result of tests by the Indian government and private laboratories which found high concentrations of pesticides and insecticides in the colas, making them unfit for consumption. " samples tested showed the presence of these toxins to be more than 30 times the standard allowed by the European Union. Tests of samples taken from the U.S. of the same drinks were found to be safe," he said.

God bless America
simes303 - on 30 Apr 2017
In reply to stp:
"Coca Cola have been disastrous for Indians in other ways. They've depleted much of the local water supplies with their '58 water-intensive bottling plants' and have polluted the country by doling out 'cadmium-laden waste sludge' as fertilizer to tribal farmers."

You are absolutely right there, and I'm surprised it took this long in the thread for this to be mentioned. Coca Cola are ruining lives not just in India, but all round the world. Bottling plants draining the water supply in India is only one example.

Mark Thomas Coca Cola investigation here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LH0r84W3LgU
This is well worth watching.

And his very well researched and written book here:
https://www.amazon.com/Belching-Out-Devil-Adventures-Coca-Cola/dp/B0035G02ZO
Book intro: "Coca-Cola and its logo are everywhere. In our homes, our workplaces, and even our schools. It is a company that sponsors the Olympics, backs US presidents and even re-brands Santa Claus. A truly universal product, it has even been served in space. From Istanbul to Mexico City, Mark travels the globe investigating the stories and people Coca-Cola's iconic advertising campaigns don't mention such as: child labourers in the sugar cane fields of El Salvador; Indian workers exposed to toxic chemicals; Colombian union leaders falsely accused of terrorism and jailed alongside the paramilitaries who want to kill them; and, many more. Provocative, funny and stirring, "Belching Out the Devil" investigates the truth behind one of the planet's biggest brands."

Anyone who has any social conscience should not buy Coca Cola.
Si.
Post edited at 08:38
timjones - on 30 Apr 2017
In reply to Pilo:

Is this just a problem with Coca Cola or is it a more widespread issue with food safety in developing nations?
simes303 - on 30 Apr 2017
nclarey - on 30 Apr 2017
In reply to Mick Ward:

> What it feels like (and feeling is the operative term) is that the soul's been removed and things have been dumbed down. Like education, for instance.

It's hard for me to argue against or about a feeling.

> Am not an expert on sports - and I don't regard climbing as a sport.

Clearly some people do regard it as a sport. How would you describe it? A discipline? A recreational activity?

I think there's plenty of room for both those who want to see it as a sport and those who don't. Take sailing as a more mature example. Some just do it for a bit of fun and exercise and enjoy it in that way. But equally there are those who are involved in serious oceangoing expedition outings and those who treat as a competitive sport, even to the extent that sailing is in the Olympics. I don't see how the competitive, sporting, sponsorship-driven activity acts as a negative influence on those who don't want to see or enjoy it that way.

> But it seems to me that many (but hopefully not all) martial arts have become commoditised - like education, dumbed down, soul removed. (A mate of mine once remarked about First Dan gradings in Shotokan, "I want to see blood on the gi." Not a popular sentiment these days, I would imagine.)

It's been a long time, but I'm glad my sensei insisted on combat when grading.

> Soul removed. Mick

I'd say that climbing means different things to different people, and that it's not a "zero-sum game" - their treatment of it as a sport worthy of sponsorship and your treatment of it as an activity with "soul" don't in any way cancel each other out. Can't we let a thousand flowers bloom?

> Actually I don't agree with your definition, so we're at cross purposes from the onset. But am knackered from a hard day out (wasn't commodised, that's for sure) so will have to leave it for now.

As a flatlander I'm just jealous that you managed to get out...

Nick
Pilo - on 30 Apr 2017
In reply to timjones:
I'd say it's starting to be a problem as people get exposed to the idea of pre packaged food and drinks. Everybody I know in India including me cooks food from the very start. By which I mean all the spices, vegetables and lentils, beans or rice had to be cooked and prepared.
What I notice in the west is people eating things which have basically been 'made already' and put in a tin or special container. That means all the spices, salts, chemicals and sugars have already been added. Can the companies be trusted to feed you nice healthy ethically produced food or would you rather trust yourself or your friends? Or even the people in restaurants. The answer is obvious but people don't have the time so buy packaged stuff. That's why the average westerner will create at least ten times as much garbage as the average (well fed) Indian.
It's especially companies like coke who are changing this as before people would just open a coconut and drink the water or grab a (very cheap) sugar cane juice. Which is better? We know the answer.
So the drinks habit changes first and maybe next will be the food. (could have already started in cities) Because there are less or no real regulations in india they will put anything they wan't in the new packaged food items as they did with the soft drinks like coke. Sad but true.
GrahamD - on 02 May 2017
In reply to Pilo:

Well my original response on environmental damage was to the OP on packageing. And Coke is no worse than bottled water in this respect.

In the specific case of Coke and India, I agree this does not sound great (but disregard for population health is not the sole preserve of Coke in India, is it ?). "The parliamentarians should take the next logical step, and ban the sale of Coke products in the entire country." The next logical step would be to sue Coke for damages and enforce environmental laws properly.
RX-78 on 02 May 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

I think the guardian has an article on coke and other soft drinks companies that shows they campaigned to get rid of the deposit schemes for bottle returns promising high kerbside recycling. As a result the percentage recycled/reused has fallen quite a bit.
galpinos on 02 May 2017
In reply to simes303:

> Anyone who has any social conscience should not buy Coca Cola.Si.

Would that also involve the Coca-Cola's other brands? Fanta, Sprite, Minute Maid, Innocent, Powerade......

toad - on 02 May 2017
In reply to galpinos:
Not to mention Peckham Springs, or was that Dasani bottled tap water?
Post edited at 11:52
GrahamD - on 02 May 2017
In reply to RX-78:

> I think the guardian has an article on coke and other soft drinks companies that shows they campaigned to get rid of the deposit schemes for bottle returns promising high kerbside recycling. As a result the percentage recycled/reused has fallen quite a bit.

Only because they were allowed to get away with it. Obviously corporations campaign for what's in their interests. Our legislators should be looking at whether what is being campaigned for is in our long term best interest.

simes303 - on 05 May 2017
In reply to galpinos:

Yes of course. Si.
stp - on 07 May 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

> Well my original response on environmental damage was to the OP on packageing. And Coke is no worse than bottled water in this respect.

Which is not much of an argument. Bottled water should be banned completely. It's environmentally a complete disaster.


> In the specific case of Coke and India, I agree this does not sound great (but disregard for population health is not the sole preserve of Coke in India, is it ?).

This kind of response makes no sense to me. If you're guilty of doing something then the fact that others do the same doesn't make you any less guilty.



> "The parliamentarians should take the next logical step, and ban the sale of Coke products in the entire country." The next logical step would be to sue Coke for damages and enforce environmental laws properly.

Theoretically then maybe. But suing big corporations like Coca Cola is likely to be hugely expensive because they have such huge resources to fight back. A case like that might cost millions to fight, run for years and still might not win at the end.

GrahamD - on 08 May 2017
In reply to stp:

> Which is not much of an argument. Bottled water should be banned completely.

So why write an article picking on Coke on environmental grounds ? Its not a Coke issue, its much wider than that.

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