Coca-Cola: Company Castigated for Naming Can After Punani

Johannesburg - Coca-Cola South Africa will discontinue producing cans with names on Coke cans.

This is after a single can with the XiTsonga word “Xitombo” – which means vag_ina – went viral on Twitter last week.

Coke said it is ending the “Share-A-Coke” promotion events after this ‘punani’ can incident. The company came under serious fire and there were massive calls from social media for the Company to correct its mistake.

Coca-Cola explained that the campaign had three elements which included digital activation and engaging with consumers to personalize their own Coke cans.

“The main element of the campaign was to place approximately 700 of South Africa’s most popular names on Coca-Cola cans and bottles, which were sold in stores,” Coke said.
The Can that Caused a Stir in South Africa 

“These names were identified in partnership with the Department of Home Affairs and Stats SA.

“The names spread across the 11 official languages and were sent to two professional linguists for phonetic treatment, reviewed by various internal approval teams and finally printed, distributed and sold in the market.

“The Xitsonga word that led to this incident was not one of these names identified by the Department of Home Affairs, nor was the can marketed or sold by Coca-Cola.”

Coca-Cola acknowledged that the can which contained the offensive word, and said that they are “very disappointed that the controls we put in place could be taken advantage of in this manner.”

“As of Wednesday 6th February, we have discontinued both the consumer-led and digital elements of the campaign,” Coca-Cola said.

“The activation will continue for the month of February, but only approved, pre-programmed words and names will be printed on cans.” - Online Sources

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