HEALTH experts have said the Coca-Cola Christmas truck tour should be banned.
The bright red truck, which made 44 stops across the UK during the festive period, promotes the consumption of unhealthy sugary drinks they argued.
It last visited Portsmouth in 2013, parking in Guildhall Square.
Writing in the British Medical Journal Robin Ireland, director of Food Active - a campaign based in north-west England to tackle rising obesity levels, and John Ashton, a public health consultant in Liverpool, said Coca-Cola was intent on shaping public opinion through its marketing techniques.
The experts wrote: ‘At Christmas, Coca-Cola’s marketing goes into overdrive as newspapers across the country regurgitate press releases for its Christmas truck tour.
‘And of course the truck is just the latest of Coca-Cola’s campaigns to become a holiday brand and, indeed, to help brand Santa Claus himself.’
A spokeswoman for Coca-Cola Great Britain said: ‘We had a really positive response from consumers to last year’s Christmas truck tour.
‘As part of the experience people could enjoy a small 150ml can of Coca-Cola Classic or one of our two no-sugar options.
‘We operate the tour in line with our responsible marketing policy and we do not provide drinks to under-12s unless their parent or guardian is present and happy for us to do so.’