The beverage maker has apologized after a girl in Canada—whose sister has autism—opened a Vitaminwater to find the words ‘You Retard’ printed under the lid.
Blake Loates and her family were especially offended due to the fact that Loates’ younger sister, 11-year-old Fiona, has cerebral palsy and autism.
Her father, Doug, sent a strongly worded letter:
“What would you do if you opened up your bottle of Vitamin Water and on the bottom of the lid it read, “YOU RETARD”? Think about it. I bet you’d be pissed off if you had a Fiona in your life… Can you imagine if SHE had opened this bottle?”
In a public apology from the beverage distributor, Coca-Cola spokesperson Shannon Denny told ABC News:
“We have spoken to the family to offer our sincerest apologies and to explain the production process to them. This is certainly not an excuse in any way for what has occurred. We wanted them to know that this was in no way intentional and was a mistake on our part during the review process. We also wanted to share that the promotion has since been cancelled and we are no longer producing bottles with those caps.”
OK on the apology. Well done there, but Coca-Cola’s explanation for the mistake was simply ridiculous:
Representatives for Coca-Cola have since stated that the language inside of the cap was the product of a competition pairing one random English word with a second random French word. In French, “retard” means “late” or “delayed.”
They call this a promotion? Since when is pairing an English word and a French word and putting it on a bottle cap a promotion?
[RELATED: Find out about our November event that has instruction for your entire communications team.]
Popularity: This record has been viewed 106 times.
Ragan.com moderates comments and reserves the right to remove posts that are abusive or otherwise inappropriate.