UK to tax sugary soft drinks

A bold move to target obesity and related health risks or a direct tax on the poor? The UK is divided this morning about Chancellor George Osborne’s surprise move to tax sugary soft drinks starting in 2018. “Manufacturers will be taxed according to the quantity of the sugar-sweetened drinks they produce or import,” the Daily Telegraph reports. The tax will affect carbonated drinks but not juice or milk products, which will raise eyebrows with campaigners who’ve shown just how much sugar goes into your favourite iced coffee. Surely though the tax can’t be purely class-based. As the Telegraph points out “the tax could have an impact on the nations’ enjoyment of gin and tonic.” Is that a hint of horror we detect in its voice? 

Get on your bike to keep the weight off

While you’re staring longingly at that fizzy drink you might want to start rethinking your commute to work. The BBC reports on a new study that finds people who “cycle, walk or catch the train or bus to work” keep more weight off than those who travel by car. It won’t surprise you to find that biking is best for staying trim with walking the next best. Whatever you do though, the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology study concludes “even a little physical activity is better than nothing at all.” 

WPP’s Sorrell to receive sweet payout

Here’s a man who can afford to buy a few G&Ts. WPP founder and CEO Sir Martin Sorrell has received one of the biggest pay cheques in British corporate history - £63 million, the Guardian reports. Sorrell’s compensation comes at a time when good business observers are highlighting how high levels of executive pay in the UK undermine sustainable business. It’s also likely to infuriate WPP’s own shareholders the Guardian notes. 

WPP launches discrimination investigation

Sticking with WPP for the moment and news that the ad giant has hired prominent labor and employment lawyer, Bettina Plevan of Proskauer Rose LLP, to independently investigate allegations of sexism and racism by the CEO of J. Walter Thompson, the Wall Street Journal reports. Last week JWT Chief Communications Officer Erin Johnson filed a lawsuit alleging JWT CEO Gustavo Martinez engaged in an “unending stream of racist and sexist comments as well as unwanted touching and other unlawful conduct.” Martinez has denied all the allegations.

Adidas embeds sustainability into business strategy for good business sense

Finally today, news that sustainability is becoming a central strategy for Adidas as it engages Millennial consumers. That’s the message from James Carnes, VP Global Brand Strategy interviewed in Forbes. Along with focusing on professional athletes Adidas also is investing in understanding how consumers use its products in everyday life. “We just did research on local production and sustainability, and it’s astonishing how important it is to new consumers,” Carnes said. “The fact that you do it isn’t as much a differentiator as how you do it.” As a result, Adidas is looking to embed sustainability and innovation thinking throughout the organisation. “It’s important that we recognize the value of projects outside of standard accounting rules,” Carnes said.