Coke cancels Canadian promotion over offensive messages

Coca-Cola has cancelled a Canadian promotion that paired randomly generated English and French words inside bottle caps after an Edmonton woman got one that said “You Retard.” Blake Loates says she and her husband were eating at a restaurant in Edmonton earlier this week when her husband read the cap of his bottle of Vitaminwater. […]

Coca-Cola has cancelled a Canadian promotion that paired randomly generated English and French words inside bottle caps after an Edmonton woman got one that said “You Retard.”

Blake Loates says she and her husband were eating at a restaurant in Edmonton earlier this week when her husband read the cap of his bottle of Vitaminwater.

Loates says they thought at first it was a prank by a rogue employee at the bottling plant. She found it particularly offensive because she has a younger sister who is developmentally delayed.

Shannon Denny, with Coca-Cola Refreshments Canada, says consumers were supposed to collect the caps to combine words into humorous sentences.

Denny says the problem was that the word lists for each language were approved separately and that in French, “retard” simply means late.

In addition to cancelling the campaign, the company says it will destroy all of the caps with words printed on them.

Denny says the company got another complaint from a consumer who got a cap with the word “douche,” the French word for shower, printed on it.

Advertising Articles

Interac brings back the stubborn Holiday Bill

New Zulu Alpha Kilo spots show Bill badgering people where they shop

BMO unveils first campaign from Y&R

A new, employee-built tagline is designed for Canadian and U.S. markets

Cossette sale could bring new international player to Canada

Chinese firm BlueFocus is eager to expand in North America

Supermarket chain battles criticism over World War I ad

Sainsbury's four-minute television spot depicts the 1914 Christmas Truce

Celebrating innovative Canadian charity marketing

Shortlisted entries in the charity and not-for-profit category of the 2014 MIAs

Alain Tadros elected to lead AAPQ board of directors

The Quebec-based industry association elects new board for 2014-15

Amnesty International takes Canadians for a trip

Campaign microsite takes a closer look at the human rights crisis in Mexico

Agency Wars V: Sonya Furdyk vs. Sabrina Hashmi

The industry's annual fundraiser is back

Marketing Hall of Legends reveals finalists for Marketer on the Rise award

Award identifies and celebrates the marketing leaders of tomorrow