YOU RETARD – Coca-Cola Offensive Vitamin Bottlecap Promo
Coca-Cola has held promotions in Canada. They randomly printed English and French words inside the bottle caps on one of their products.
They finally apologized to a family because their bottle cap said, “YOU RETARD” on it. In French, the word ‘retard’ means ‘late’.
Blake Loates was having dinner with her husband when he saw the offending message as the work of a prankster or dissatisfied employee.
“We immediately thought ‘You must be kidding,'” he told the Alberta Huffington Post. “We were both really surprised,” he told The Canadian Press. “This is Coca-Cola, this is a big brand.”
His father, Doug, was even more upset, remembering that his two younger daughters, Maddi and Fiona, were both living with disabilities. Maddi is blind “but gets along well,” Doug Loates wrote in an angry letter to Coca-Cola, Vitaminwater’s parent company.
“Fiona has a harder time for that. He has undergone 22 operations. He suffered from Cerebral Palsy and was still being fed with food tubes. He is cognitively delayed. Fifty years ago they might have called him retarded. But we know better now, right? ”
Coca-Cola issued an apology to the family on Wednesday, explaining the error as a random combination of the English word “you” and the French word “retard,” which means slowing down or delaying.
We are certainly very sorry for this oversight
“We don’t mean to offend at all,” Shannon Denny, a spokesman for Canada’s Coca-Cola Refreshment, told Metro News. “We are certainly very sorry for this oversight.”
On its website, Vitaminwater describes the promotion as a “play on words” intended to provide an inspirational boost to those who are thirsty.
“We like the little word play and all the brilliant combinations offered by different words so we put randomly selected words … under each limit. Check our labels to get a little inspiration and tell us what kind of fun you get! “Read the FAQ section on the Vitaminwater Canada website.
In some alternative universes where people play word games with bottle caps, English speakers will collect and make phrases with English words while French speakers will do the same with French words. Although the words under the Vitaminwater hat are reviewed, they are only checked for proper spelling in their own language, not for what they might say when printed next to their peers.
“When you see the same word in English, an offensive connotation is needed,” Denny told Metro.
Since then Coca-Cola has destroyed all the remaining bottle caps and ended promotions, which, frankly, don’t sound too pleasant.