A blog post from Fernando Quintero on the Berkeley Media Studies Group’s site alerted me to PepsiCo’s latest example of corporate social responsibility: an additional $50,000 donation for scholarships and internships to the National Association of Hispanic Journalists bringing the total to $100,000.
Hispanic populations in the United States have higher than average rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic conditions associated with overconsumption of sodas and snacks.
Such generosity raises questions about what Pepsi is buying from this group.
The NAHJ says:
We are thrilled to have PepsiCo as a new partner committed to building a stronger Latino community,” said Ivan Roman, Executive Director for NAHJ. “The company’s support as we get more Hispanics into journalism to tell our stories is key to making sure our communities are represented fairly in the news media, while giving them a louder voice in the civic dialogue.
Why do I think that journalists in this Association are unlikely to be telling stories like these:
- The relationship of soda and snack consumption to obesity and type 2 diabetes in Hispanic communities
- The relationship of soda and snack consumption to Hispanic childhood obesity
- How soda intake among Hispanic children leads to dental decay
- Soda company marketing practices in Hispanic communities
- The effects of soda and snack marketing on dietary practices and health in countries in Latin America
As part of La Promesa de PepsiCo, the company is building relationships with the community, strengthening its strategic partnerships, and sponsoring national Hispanic organizations like: CHCI (Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute), HACR (Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility), LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens), NAHJ (National Association of Hispanic Journalists), and NCLR (National Council of La Raza) among others.
A page from the tobacco-industry playbook, no?