Coca-Cola says sorry to LGBT community

The Sochi Winter Olympics have come under plenty of scrutiny because of Russia’s gay rights laws and one of the event’s sponsors, Coca-Cola hasn’t escaped the criticism either.

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Coca Cola do not say sorry for lack of statement about LGBT rights in Russia.

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But over the weekend, Coca Cola was slammed by the LGBT community for a new social media campaign related to the Olympics Games in Sochi that prevented users from typing the word “gay” on a customizable Coca Cola can, but allowed the use of the word “straight”.

Posted on the company’s website, the apology reads:

Our “Share A Coke” promotion, which is running in several markets around the globe, is intended to allow people to take the Coca-Cola script and replace it with their name on the can. Unfortunately, in South Africa, the digital version of the “Share a Coke” promotion did not limit the customization to individuals’ names.

Specifically, the name and message auto-generator on our South Africa “Share A Coke” website would not accept the word “Gay”, but did accept the word “Straight”. This isn’t how the program was supposed to work, and we’ve pulled the site down until we can fix the problem.

We apologize for this mistake. As one of the world’s most inclusive brands, we value and celebrate diversity. We have long been a strong supporter of the LGBT community and have advocated for inclusion, equality and diversity through both our policies and practices.

More than 700,000 Coca-Cola system associates get up every morning determined to make the world a happier place and, when errors like this happen, we take it seriously. Thank you for raising this with us, and we’ll get it fixed.

Vukani Magubane, Coca-Cola South Africa.

When will Coca-Cola step up and take a stand for LGBT rights in Russia and everywhere else in the world ? Grow some balls – tell Mr Putin what human rights and LGBT rights are.

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