Discuss about the Regaining Confidence Coca Cola.
It was the year 1886 when Coca-Cola was invented by John Pemberton, a Pharmacist in Atlanta, Georgia. He sold the drink with fountain water in it as a medicine for mental and physical disorders. (World of Coca-Cola, 2017) After that Asa D. Candler added carbonation to it and by the year 2003, Coca-Cola became the world’s biggest manufacturer, distributor, and marketer of non-alcoholic beverages with 400 worldwide known brands under it.
On 5th August 2003, an activist association of India, The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), specially focusing on the consequences of industrialization and economic growth towards environment issued a press release disclosing “12 major cold drink brands sold in and around Delhi contain a deadly cocktail of pesticide residues”. (The Economic Times, 2003) The tests were organised by the Pollution Monitoring Laboratory (PML) of CSE between April to August. The 3 samples out of 12 Coca-Cola brands from Delhi were found to carry residues of pesticides 30-36 times more than that of global standards. The pesticides constituted were lindane, DDT, malathion and chlorpyrifos and they were known to be the causes of cancer, nervous system damage, birth defects, reproductive system damage, and major problems of the immune system. (Coca-Cola India, 2005)
Reacting to this, the Government of India banned Coca-Cola commodities in the country. Both central and state governments started investigating the case. Coca-Cola quoted the CSE claims as “baseless” and doubted the methods of testing. To this CSE replied that all the definitive procedures described by US EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) were followed. The tests also included Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry.
The whole controversy affected financially as sales dropped by 30-40 percent in just two weeks and 11 percent in third quarter. (Business-standard.com, 2003) Many potential clubs, retailers, college campuses and restaurants stopped selling Coca-Cola at their places. The consumers said that they believe in CSE findings and accord with the decision to ban the soft drinks. (Coca-Cola India, 2005) The management was quite clear that this allegation is to harm the image of the company and if it continues, the company will take legal action.
The company arranged press conferences, where it questioned the credibility of CSE and told that the products are regularly tested at independent laboratories and this data will be uploaded to their website. A lot of advertisements in daily newspapers were launched stating the beverage is safe to drink. (Washingtonpost.com, 2006) Further, the Delhi High Court questioned the government to make a committee and revise the standards with inclusion of pesticide norms.
The three stakeholder groups are public, Health Ministry of India and employees. The motivation to employees will be provided by a presentation where they will be told the truth that no pesticides are in drinks. A report will be sent to Health Ministry regarding the truth and the public will be addressed by a press release in daily newspaper.
The aim of this media strategy is to reveal the truth. The press release covers a large audience who are buyers and responsible for increase or decrease in sales. A report is sent to the Health Ministry to take necessary steps. The best way to motivate employees is through presentation.
This strategy will rebuild the confidence of stakeholders and ultimately benefit company.
Report to Health Ministry
There was a ban implied on our products by Government after considering the test result reports from CSE (Centre for Science and Environment), an activist group. We believe that the decision to ban our products was a bit fast because the Government reacted based on report only. We were not even asked to provide the test results that independent laboratories used to conduct for us on a regular basis.
This is to inform you that we do not believe the reports provided by CSE because the tests were conducted by their own laboratory PML (Pollution Monitoring Laboratory). Here we clearly question the credibility of CSE. If the tests were to be done, they should have been conducted at independent laboratories.
Kindly note that the most essential component of our business is maintaining the quality benchmarks. We can’t uphold while deceiving and unaccredited information is utilized to ruin our trusted world class brand. Recent allegations have brought unneeded anxiety among Indian consumers. If it is not, cross checked, then it would damage our business in India and influence the livelihood of our huge number of employees all over the nation.
The company wants to clear that the tests are also conducted by us and that too in independent world class laboratories following all the necessary standards. The results showed no such increased levels of pesticides in our beverages. All the test result reports are available on our website so that anyone can check them. The website also provides the information about the ongoing issues and there are some facts that clarifies that why our beverage brands should be trusted. All our products are safe and hygienic and can be used without any doubts.
Before the production starts, testing is done and when the test results are acceptable, then only production starts. The health and hygiene of our consumers is the centre of our business. So, the instructions are quite clear at any of our plant and we have uniform global standards that are followed equally at each production unit in the world. It is not at all the case that different norms are for different countries.
We again request you to interfere in this matter and bring the truth out to the people of country. Also, provide us the necessary improvised guidelines so that we can restart the plants. In this way, consumers can again enjoy drinking Coca-Cola and the lives of our employees can come on track.
For any type of clarification regarding this issue or any other, the management of the company will always be there. We will keep you updated with every step we will take resolve this issue.
Press Release to Daily Newspaper
Floor 16, One Horizon Center,
Sector 43, Gurugram,
Tel: +91 85120 97817
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
[Name of the Manager]
e-mail: [email protected]
Coca-Cola: Always Safe
Coca-Cola wants to assure the consumers of India that your Coca-Cola is safe to drink. There were reports by an activist firm about increased residues of pesticides in our beverages. We completely deny the allegations.
Recently, there was a news alleging us about the quality measures of our beverages in India. The activist organization conducted some tests in its subsidiary laboratory and spread the news of pesticides in our beverages. We consider these charges critical. The company wants to guarantee you that our products in India are as safe as in any other part of the world.
The most essential component of our business is maintaining the quality benchmarks. We cannot uphold while deceiving and unaccredited information is utilized to ruin our trusted world class brand. Recent allegations have brought unneeded anxiety amongst you all. If it is not, cross checked, then it would damage our business in India and impact the livelihood of our huge number of employees all through the nation. This is just to deteriorate our image in the market. The Health ministry is also notified about this issue. A request is placed with Ministry of Health to interfere in this matter, remove the ban from our products and bring the truth out to the people of India.
We also deny the tests because they were conducted in the laboratory that is subsidiary of this activist organization. These allegations are very serious and the company conducted fresh tests at independent laboratories. The results are made available on our website where anybody can access them and recognize the truth. Some, myths that are making rumours in the market are also clarified on the website. All doubts will be cleared if you read the information available on the company’s website.
The company wants to reassure that there are no elevated levels of pesticides in any of the beverages of our brand. We regularly test our products and when the results are satisfactory, then only production starts. The health and hygiene of consumers is the core of our business. No compromise was ever done and will never be done towards the health of the consumers. We know that we cannot survive in the market if our products will harm the consumers. The company will take legal action against the activist for deteriorating the image of Coca-Cola.
For more information, the management from the company will always be there. As long as there's a need, regardless of how substantial or little, we will answer the call for help in every way possible.
Coca-Cola India, is the Indian subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Company, USA. Coca-Cola re-entered the Indian market in 1993 and constantly growing each year with 27 wholly-owned bottling operations supplemented by 29 franchisee bottling operations and 29 contract packers. Coca-Cola is ranked #1 brand globally according to Interbrand’s Global Brand Scorecard.
Business-standard.com. (2003). Coke sales fall 11% on pesticide controversy. [online] Available at: https://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/coke-sales-fall-11-on-pesticide-controversy-103102901064_1.html [Accessed 23 May 2017].
Coca-Cola India. (2005). 1st ed. [ebook] Dartmouth: Tuck School of Business. Available at: https://www.google.co.in/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&edata-src=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjmzL3Tk4jUAhWMRY8KHfPnAE0QFggjMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fmba.tuck.dartmouth.edu%2Fpdf%2F2004-1-0085.pdf&usg=AFQjCNF5jJ41yYbfuWEN4MeJdmpGY7cbWA&sig2=GhMoSEz8MTrWJ6YApL0c-Q [Accessed 23 May 2017].
Coca-Cola India. (2017). Coca-Cola India. [online] Available at: https://www.coca-colaindia.com/ [Accessed 23 May 2017].
India, M. (2017). Department of Health and Family Welfare: Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. [online] Mohfw.gov.in. Available at: https://mohfw.gov.in/index1.php?lang=1&level=1&sublinkid=5691&lid=3609 [Accessed 23 May 2017].
The Economic Times. (2003). Pesticide controversy takes toll on Pepsi, Coca-Cola - The Economic Times. [online] Available at: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/saal-the-year/pesticide-controversy-takes-toll-on-pepsi-coca-cola/articleshow/381859.cms [Accessed 23 May 2017].
Washingtonpost.com. (2006). Coke Responds to India Pesticide Charges. [online] Available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/08/AR2006080800694.html [Accessed 23 May 2017].
World of Coca-Cola. (2017). Coca-Cola History ? World of Coca-Cola. [online] Available at: https://www.worldofcoca-cola.com/about-us/coca-cola-history/ [Accessed 23 May 2017].