Beverage giant Coca-Cola has come under fire for a new tool that lets customers personalise their own bottles of coke – but banning words like ‘Palestine’ and “Black Lives Matter”, while terms like ‘white pride’ and ‘QAnon’ are allowed.
Troubled customers took to Twitter to share their findings after discovering that the restrictions were far from comprehensive.
Twitter user Rami Ismail pointed out that on the US store, the word ‘Palestine’ is blocked, as is the name Mohammed.
Ismail followed up with an additional tweet: “Oh, and sorry @osamadorias, can’t share a Coca-Cola with you. Osama is prohibited. And Mohammed also can’t have a Coca-Cola while we’re at it. Well done, @CocaCola. Just banned the most common name on Earth because y’all don’t consider Arabs or Muslims exist.”
1. Go to https://t.co/JiabeZBSoA
2. Enter "Palestine"
3. Get an error because Coca Cola thinks Palestine is offensive.
4. Enter "Israel"
5. Get no error because Coca Cola thinks Israel is not offensive.
What's up @CocaCola?
— Rami Ismail (رامي) (@tha_rami) June 21, 2021
“Oops! Looks like the name you requested is not an approved one,” reads a message on the site.
“Names may not be approved if they’re potentially offensive to other people, trademarked, or celebrity names. We’ve worked hard to get this list right, but sometimes we mess up.”
Coca-Cola has previously launched several “Share a Coke” commercial initiatives to encourage customers to drink Coke as their summer beverage of choice.
This year, it has opened up its customisation tool to words as part of a new campaign that has exposed the company’s social ideals.
Another Twitter user, Laura Kate Dale, pointed out that the website “blocks ‘Black Lives Matter,’ but allows ‘blue lives matter’ and ‘Nazis’. I’ve been testing it for a bit.”
The website also blocks "Black Lives Matter", but allows "blue lives matter" and "Nazis".
I've been testing it for a bit.
— Laura Kate Dale (@LaurakBuzz) June 21, 2021
Another Twitter user said, “Coca-Cola allows “White Lives Matter” and “I am a Nazi” on personalized cans, but not “Black Lives Matter” or “Palestine”. Companies are still suppressing Black and Palestinian causes.”
DID YOU KNOW . .
Coca-Cola allows "White Lives Matter" and "I am a Nazi" on personalized cans, but not "Black Lives Matter" or "Palestine". Companies are still suppressing Black and Palestinian causes.
— LaLa | #StillSingleSeries (@TheOnyx_Girl) June 25, 2021
The likes of ‘Pepsi’ and ‘Dr Pepper’ have also been banned.
In response, Coca-Cola said it was “refining and improving” the feature.
“We’re continuously refining and improving our Share A Coke personalisation tool to ensure it is used only for its intended purpose – for Coca-Cola fans to celebrate with one another and make connections,” the company said in a statement to Newsweek.
“We add terms and phrases if we feel they are consistent with that intent.”
We’re continuously refining and improving our Share A Coke personalization tool to ensure it is used only for its intended purpose – for Coca-Cola fans to celebrate with one another and make connections. We add terms and phrases if we feel they are consistent with that intent.
— Coca-Cola (@CocaCola) June 27, 2021