Way to Go Coca-Cola: You Just Gave Us Another Reason to Not Buy Your Stuff.

Via on Sep 20, 2013

Edmonton woman opens a bottle of Vitamin Water to find the words ‘You Retard’ written on the cap.

As if that isn’t offensive enough in itself, it turns out that the woman who opened the bottle has a sister who is developmentally delayed. 

Supposedly the words (part of a Canadian promotion, the idea being to generate funny random phrases) were randomly paired from two lists, one in French and one in English (in French, ‘retard’ means late).

I don’t think that a company this big can afford to make a mistake like this.

I think you just gave us another reason to not buy your products.

While we’re at it, we may as well stop buying Pepsi too.

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Ed: Bryonie Wise

About Renee Picard

Renée Picard is an editor and columnist at elephant journal. A grounded creative, her words often spill out in cheap breakfast joints and via coffee shop thought streams. She prefers real conversation over small talk, red over pink, ocean over mountains. She likes roaming the oceanside in the morning, taking photos of beach things. She tries to lead life with intuition and a soft (but fierce) heart. A core mission in her life is to offer and hold safe spaces for others to express themselves authentically via writing or other creative means. For her, writing is an instinct, craft, a heart-thing. Find more of it at her blog, connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.

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2 Responses to “Way to Go Coca-Cola: You Just Gave Us Another Reason to Not Buy Your Stuff.”

  1. GetRealPeople says:

    I am sorry but I think people are getting a tad bit too sensitive about stuff like this. It's two words, each one taken from two different languages that we use in Canada and as it's mentioned above, "retard" means late in French. If she had an inkling of what that meant, which I am quite certain she did, she would not have taken such offense to it. Let's just assume she didn't know what the word meant, even then, why is it such a huge problem? I understand that her sister has developmental issues but so do some other people. What, is "retard" becoming the new "n" word? Let's get real, there are people getting killed in third world countries, wars are starting, children are starving – let's just not be so trivial and make a big deal out of nothing. I am sure there will be quite a few people that will disagree. However, my suggestion to the lady from Edmonton is, get over yourself and use your time and energy for something that's bigger than your little "sensitivity." Oh, by the way, I don't drink Coca-Cola products but if I did, it's not something like this that would deter me from buying them, just saying…

    • Renee Picard smallgrl says:

      Thanks for your comment!

      It's true that it may not have to be as offensive as it was–it's really subjective. My point in writing this is that they can't afford to make a PR mistake that is this big. The mistake shows that this particular marketing campaign was a dumb idea.

      Meanwhile, someone probably just got paid a crapload of money for coming up with it (at least, a crapload compared to what I might make for an idea).

      it's true that it might not make people stop buying Coca-Cola products; this is a choice that each consumer makes for themselves. But personally I'd like to see money flowing towards smaller companies that produce and market with integrity.

      I've had enough of corporations producing junky products and making millions through junky ad campaigns. I really hope that those days are ending.

      Conscious consumerism is the way that this will end.

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