A campaign launched by Coca-Cola Norway aimed at celebrating the Islamic holy month of Ramadan has sparked accusations of political correctness gone mad, with some even threatening to protest the move by drinking Pepsi.
Coca-Cola is known to roll out Ramadan campaigns in Muslim-majority nations, but this is the first time the company has marked the Islamic month of fasting in Norway, where an estimated 5.7 percent of the country’s 5.2 million inhabitants are Muslim. The campaign features the iconic Coca-Cola logo adorned with a crescent moon, an important symbol in Islam.
The marketing manager for Coca-Cola Norway told Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet that the company wanted to take a firm stance on the importance of celebrating diversity.
“Diversity and inclusion have always been important to Coca-Cola. For example, many do not know that in the 1950s we were actively engaged in the civil rights movement. Cola was the first to front women in advertising campaigns,” Johanna Kosanovic said.
But Norwegian Coke drinkers clearly couldn’t stomach the ad.
“Islam is not welcome or wanted in beautiful Norway. Go to an Islamic country with this c**p. Try marketing Christian holidays there,” one user wrote in response to a “Happy Ramadan” message posted on Coca-Cola Norway’s Instagram account.
“Then it’ll be Pepsi from here onwards… I hope Coca-Cola sales plunge,” a dissatisfied soda drinker noted on Facebook.
“I would like to see Coke put a cross on it’s product during Christmas and Easter. The Muslims and their left wing allies in the West would go ballistic. Pandering to special interest group seems to be a hallmark for certain corporations,” mused another netizen.
“I must have missed the other two logo designs with the Jewish star and the cross during Hanukkah and Christmas,” noted one twitterati.
“No more Cola. Yuck!” another social media user declared.
Others said they would pass on the infamously unhealthy beverage – regardless of what religious labels are put on Coke cans.
Corporations have faced backlash in the past for trying to show that they are inclusive or “woke.” A “feminist” Reebok ad in Russia featuring bizarre “face-sitting” was widely panned, while Gillette learned a hard lesson in social media blowback after lecturing to its male customer base about “toxic masculinity.”