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

Looking for a celebrity endorser? Try Liam Neeson

Nielsen survey looks at the effectiveness of celebrity pitchmen and women

La Roche-Posay sheds light on the perils of sensitive skin

L'Oréal Canada brand enlists model Jessica Langlois to share her story

Sport Chek pens a runner’s manifesto

Retailer continues its "All Sweat Is Equal" campaign with a new agency

From street to store, Nespresso tries to woo Canadians

Effort targets consumers that gravitate towards higher-end coffee chains, brands

Kraft Singles plays mind games in online effort

Cheese brand introduces "A craving is a powerful thing" tagline

Sport Chek and Sid Lee part ways, Rethink steps in

Rethink Communications takes over retailer's "All Sweat is Equal" campaign

McDonald’s tricks consumers with ‘salad society’ pop-up

Fast food chain creates a fake restaurant brand to get consumers to try its salads

Mobile quickly becoming video-viewing platform of choice

Mobile video ads are a big opportunity as consumers flock to smartphones for viewing

Getting from 3% to 50%: Yes We Can (Column, pt 1 of 6)

Janet Kestin looks back on adland in the 1980s to see how little has changed