MEDIA: What The Papers Say - Coca-Cola appears flat in Belgian crisis

Already thwarted in its attempts to buy Orangina, the last thing Coca-Cola needed was a health scare in a country shaken by a contaminated animal feed scandal.

Already thwarted in its attempts to buy Orangina, the last thing

Coca-Cola needed was a health scare in a country shaken by a

contaminated animal feed scandal.



The alleged poisoning of around 100 children pitched Coca-Cola into a

crisis that sparked a sales ban in Belgium, France, Spain and

Luxembourg, and generated hostile headlines throughout Europe.



Coca-Cola stood accused of forgetting the cardinal rules of crisis

management.



Particular criticism was aimed at the slowness of response, and a

perceived reluctance to put customer confidence before sales.



Coca-Cola was caught on the hop in getting its side of the story over,

although the Financial Times noted the regret of Doug Ivester, chairman

and CEO, that the company had not been ’more forthcoming from a public

standpoint’ (19/6/99).



Despite the problems, marketing and branding pundits appear to believe

the strength of the brand will prevail and Coca-Cola will emerge

stronger for the experience.



Evaluation and analysis by CARMA International. Cuttings supplied by the

Broadcast Monitoring Company. ’What The Papers Say’ can be found at:

www.carma.com.



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