Coke Says Marketing Test Was Rigged

Jun 18, 2003

By George Anderson

Coca-Cola has admitted employees of its fountain unit faked a marketing test for Frozen Coke at Burger King locations in Richmond, Virginia.

Coke discovered the problems with the marketing test in 2001 but failed to notify Burger King, according to a report in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Brad Blum, chief executive officer, Burger King issued a statement calling Coca-Cola’s actions “unacceptable”. He added, “We expect and demand the highest standards of conduct and integrity in all of our vendor relationships and will not tolerate any deviation from these standards.”

Moderator’s Comment: Does Coca-Cola have a credibility
issue with customers beyond Burger King after the revelations in this case?

According to reports, BK had approved the Frozen Coke
program before the marketing test ever took place.

This makes a former Coke executive’s (identified as John
Fisher) decision to approve a plan to spend up to $10,000 to boost demand for
Frozen Cokes during the test even less understandable.

Anderson – Moderator

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