Crikey reader Gary Muratore recently contacted Coca-Cola in response to an advertisement featuring Australian actress Kerry Armstrong. Here is the response from Coca-Cola and Gary’s return correspondence, which he kindly sent onto us.

Thanks Coca-Cola Team,

A week plus to get an answer. Maybe you are busy or maybe you read my letter in Crikey.

I truly believe you are digging a PR hole of which you will never recover. I understand what your product is and based on that use (to be correct used to use) in moderation. Trying to convince the public a series of urban myths exist and then trying to make the product out to be something it is not is despicable. Coca-Cola should hang its head in shame.

Further to underestimating the public’s intelligence you insult me by not even answering my original question (How much did “myth-busting” Kerry get?) and then you sign your belated response as the Coca-Cola team… like it is some sort of Mickey Mouse Club. Could you not find one person in your organisation with the testicular fortitude to put their name to a consumer query?

It’s poor marketing form, it’s poor PR form and it is an insult to all consumers.

I pointed out in Crikey that I wrote to Glaxo Smith Kline when they tried to spin the “More Vitamin C than Blackcurrant” lie. In that case GSK realised they had been caught out and I received a telephone call form GSK’s Managing Director admitting their mistake, apologising and giving a commitment that they would in future take consumers seriously.

So Coke team (can I be so informal and just call you Coke?) give up on this poor PR programme, admit your agency gave you bad advice on this one and get on with some responsible product marketing.

Regards,

Garry Muratore (Sorry not enough of me to form a team.)

Ex Diet Coke Consumer, new Pepsi Max drinker.

Peter Fray

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