Previous Post
Blasphemous Babe is at it Again
Next Post
Save the Turkeys!

Coca-Cola Cares

Coca-Cola channels its advertising money towards relief efforts in the Philippines. Altruism or exploitation?

To some, Coca-Cola is a refreshing beverage, to others, an evil corporation destroying the world. But the truth is that they make a fine beverage, but they aren't completely evil.

Starting November 18th, Coca-Cola is pledging to stop spending their money on advertising and channeling it instead to funds for relief efforts in the Philippines to help cope with the aftermath of Typhoon Haiya. "Any committed advertising space will be redirected to the relief and rebuilding efforts for the people in Visayas," Coca-Cola's statement on Tuesday read.

If they really wanted to help in an altruistic fashion, then they would make the contribution without issuing a big announcement about it. Making a big deal about this plan simply comes off as yet another example of a major corporation exploiting a tragedy to further their advertising purposes. This campaign is reminiscent to the ‘save the polar bear’ campaign that Coca-Cola did last year. They promised to donate $2 million dollars over five years to help conserve polar bears and their habitat. The only real point of criticism is that the amount of money that they were donating is probably about the same amount it costs to get an A-list celebrity to do an ad campaign. Sure, it's better to give money to a cause instead of a celebrity, but is it fair to exploit tragedies if it results in an increase in sales, but not an increase in aid?

At the same time, help is help, and some help is better than no help. As it stands, Coca-Cola has already donated $2.5 million in cash, nearly $600,000 in bottled water, and an additional $1 million through the American National Red Cross.

“We wish to express our heartfelt solidarity to all Filipinos in these difficult times,” Carlos Salazar Lomelín, Chief Executive Officer of Coca-Cola FEMSA, the bottling company in the Philippines, said in a press release. “It is in times like these when the Philippines sets an example of resilience and good spirit, and where our values of supporting ourselves as a team come at its best.”

If you are of the mind that they are evil, then chances are nothing they do will change your mind. At the end of the day, nothing is forcing them to invest in these issues, and if doing so increases sales, then so be it. Advertising is not going anywhere anytime soon, but it will always be better to spend advertising money on global issues then giving it to a nude Miley Cyrus, who would probably pretend that Coke is giving her an orgasm.