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I just came across this image:

Start cola earlier - too soon is not soon enough!

It appears to be an advertisement that one might find in a magazine or newspaper, and it has some pretty ridiculous claims:

For a better start in life start cola earlier!

How soon is too soon? Not soon enough. Laboratory tests over the last few years have proven that babies who start drinking soda during that early formative period have a much higher chance of gaining acceptance and "fitting in" during those awkward pre-teen and teen years. So, do yourself a favor. Do your child a favor. Start them on a strict regimen of sodas and other sugary carbonated beverages right now, for a lifetime of guaranteed happiness. The Soda Pop Board of America - 1515 W. Hart Ave. - Chicago, ILL.

Then on the side:

  • Promotes Active Lifestyle
  • Boosts Personality!
  • Gives body essential sugars!

I'm not terribly worried about the spurious claims it makes, I'm just wondering if this image was real (or based on real marketing material) or just a spoof?

  • 1
    According to Google Maps, there is no Hart Ave. in Chicago (although there is a Hart St.). Unless there used to be a Hart Ave., at least the address is faked. – Engineer Toast Jun 5 '17 at 20:43
  • 5
    @PaŭloEbermann yes, this 2011 book at page 42: books.google.com/… – DavePhD Jun 5 '17 at 22:10
  • 1
    Although this is a joke, this attitude wasn't to far from the truth. As an anecdote, I know a few people in their late-50s/60s who had issues feeding after they were born (and were allergic to cows milk IIRC correctly.) Their mothers were instructed to let bottles of soda (usually Sprite but sometimes Coca-Cola) go flat and then feed that to the babies. The kids had no trouble "eating" when this was given to them even as newborns. I'm not drawing any conclusions regarding these stories but suffice to say I do know various people whose parents were instructed to give Coke to their babies. – RLH Jun 6 '17 at 11:42
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    @DavePhD Yes, looks like many people have been taken in by the hoax. – David Richerby Jun 6 '17 at 14:32
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    Found a thread on Snopes about this ad too: message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=59204 although they didn't find the actual source, they pointed out a few other errors. – user812786 Jun 6 '17 at 15:16
45

It looks like this was a fake ad by RJ White, made for a JD Ryznar, at his request:

Favor From Clever Dudes

Hey, if any of you dudes, clever with Photoshop or something siminar, are bored a work today, I wonder if you could do me this favor:

Create an advertisement from "The Soda Pop Board Of America" Advertising the benefits of giving soda pop to babies. I at least want a picture of a baby and a picture of a can of soda pop in the same picture with some writing in it. Some ideas for the writing:

"Promotes Active lifestyle"
"Boosts Personality"
"Will lose baby teeth anyway"
"Gives body essential sugars"

See, there's this dude at work that has a baby, and I keep telling him he needs to give soda pop to his baby, but the fucker won't listen to me, so I need some 'Official Word' from the Soda Pop Board.

Get Crackin' team!

RJ White had this to say on the ad (from the original link above):

About seven or eight years ago, I made this fake ad, exhorting parents to give soda to their babies. It was done on a bored afternoon when J.D. Ryznar asked for someone to make that very specific thing on his livejournal. I whipped it together, posted it to the web, joke over.

  • He links to the original (antique) livejournal post with the job specification; some NSFW language. Beyond this, the image manipulation around ad copy is quite obvious (pure white rectangles aka bounding boxes and some scribbly bits that do not match the scanned paper texture) – Yorik Jun 6 '17 at 17:19

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