Coca-Cola has scaled back its Christmas truck's annual tour of the U.K. following protests from health activists.
The truck will visit 24 towns and cities around the U.K. throughout November and December — down from 42 locations last year.
Coca-Cola's annual marketing push has faced various demands from campaigners, ranging from a stop to the distribution of full-sugar free samples to calls for an outright ban of the tour.
The truck is usually hosted by local authorities and supermarkets as it moves around the U.K., but politicians in some areas have called for the truck to be banned from their towns and cities.
Last year, the drinks giant faced pressure from lawmakers in the English cities of Liverpool and Carlisle, who argued the visit should not go ahead as it contributed to health problems. This year, the tour will not visit those locations.
On Wednesday, campaign group Sugar Smart announced that activists from more than 83 organizations had signed a letter calling for Coca-Cola to stop handing out free sugary drinks. The group argued that by doing so, Coca-Cola was encouraging unhealthy consumption of sugary drinks, which they said contributed to the country's childhood obesity crisis and wider health issues.
Campaigners are also pressuring supermarkets Asda and Tesco to stop hosting the truck, with Sugar Smart calling on the British public to sign a petition to the retailers.
Spokespersons for Tesco and Asda were not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.
In a press release Wednesday, Sugar Smart U.K. campaign coordinator Vera Zakharov slammed the Coca-Cola truck campaign as "sinister."
"It is welcome news that local authorities are turning their backs on sugary drinks promotions," she said.
"Hosting the Christmas truck tour is incompatible with their drive to reduce diet-related disease. Bizarrely, Coca-Cola equates handing out their sugary products with the start of the cherished holiday season, which has nothing to do with fizzy drinks. But this strategy takes on a sinister tone when you consider that the Coke Truck visits areas with some of the worst health problems in the country."