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History Was Made Philadelphia Soda Tax

Nutritionists, the medical community and public health officials have reached a consensus. Bottled sugary drinks are a major contributor to the obesity epidemic in the U.S. 60% of adults and 33% of American children are overweight or obese. Cities including New York, Seattle, and Philadelphia have started efforts to pass laws that would tax the distributors of sodas and artificially flavored beverages to break the nation’s addiction to sodas and juices.

In 2017, Philadelphia became the first major city in the country to pass a soda tax. The law is expected to raise over $90 million annually for expanding pre-k programs , creating community schools, improving parks and libraries, and offering a tax credit for businesses that sell healthier beverages.


IQM helped the City of Brotherly Love pass the Soda Tax that took effect January 1. We supported to the city’s efforts to pass legislation by defining a target strategy and executing ads in-app via publishers most relevant to the campaign's targets.


IQM’s proprietary algorithms and intelligence identified undecided and influenceable Philadelphia voters in real-time. IQM also ran media consumption analyses of news reports about the soda tax across all devices. Our customer got deeper insights into whether voters would be more receptive to positive or negative messages that were factual or sensational.

With this enhanced data, our customer ran more impactful media buying plans in favor of the tax. Also, IQM’s artificial intelligence (AI) solutions distributed the most compelling messages to a custom group of influenceable Philly voters. This was key. Getting factual and positive messages consistently in front of these undecided voters swung support in favor of the soda tax.


The Soda Tax initiative was a historic public policy effort that was approved by the Philadelphia City Council. IQM’s highest performing display advertising earned over five million impressions (5,213,583) and over 20,000 clicks from concerned citizens of the City of Brotherly Love. Plus, the IQM Soda Tax video earned an additional 700,000 online impressions. Strategic mobile ad placements yielded 1.58 million views overall.

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