Dance Adams

Communication 642

Coke A Cola Case



A titan in the beverage industry, Coca Cola was an up-start of Atlanta pharmacist John Pemberton. John’s curiosity turned into a gold mine after carbonated water was combined with his concoction at Jacobs’ Pharmacy. The distinctive logo was created by Pembertons’ bookkeeper and is still used today.


An individual who was disgruntled with Coca Cola concerning the difficulty redeeming his prize from the “My Coke” rewards program. This patron “tweeted” his frustration to his 10,000 Twitter followers. This was caught by a Coke employee that was paid to monitor the social media sphere and worried about not only the 10,000 followers, but all the re-tweets that they could send as well.


Strengths : This was more of a PR problem rather than a product failure or injury caused by the company. Coke’s quick action and dedication to consumer expectations should be counted here as well.

Weakness : It is possible to construe that Coke was being duped by the customer into providing a prize when none is warranted, but this is not a likely scenario.

Opportunity : Coke had the opportunity to prove that it was an honest company, that genuinely cared about its customers.

Threats : The loss of brand loyalty resulting in lost revenue. Negative press and possible fraud charges if the allegation could be substantiated.


Adam Brown, Coca Cola’s social media guru, posted an apology on the customer’s twitter profile and offered to help him redeem his prize.


The prize was sent to the customer and he changed his avatar to a picture of himself holding a Coke.


There is really not much here to comment on, but maybe that is the point. I personally do not have a twitter account and I do not remember this one in the news. Suffice it to say that their strategy worked very well. This turned out to be an almost nonexistent blemish to Coke’s reputation. Especially when you compare this to the “New Coke” debacle.

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3 Responses to

  1. l992 says:

    I think that Coke did such a good job of handling this as a minor problem, they did not allow it to become any bigger. They did not allow this to become a problem, but because hardly anyone heard about it, Coke did not allow itself to look like a “hero” so to speak in this situation either.

  2. djwindholz says:

    I agree. This was a minor problem that many people probably didn’t hear about. I liked how you stated it was more of a PR issue. Even though this wasn’t a major crisis, I think it’s still a good one to learn about because it’s important for organizations to know what people are saying about them on social networks.

  3. karobinson5 says:

    With the popularity of social media, it is absolutely necessary for companies of all sizes to have a social media presence. However, just having a presence is not enough. According to the Excellence Theory Model 4, social media must be monitored and communicated on as necessary. This case shows that social media can hurt a company if it is only used in Model 3. A good public relations team must have a monitor for social media and respond accordingly. In my experience, it is best not to have a social media presence unless you have someone to monitor it. Allowing people to make comments and posts without a response can be detrimental to a company. Coal-Cola was not lucky, they were prepared.

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