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Skeptic 12 March 2007 04:09 PM

Coca-Cola 'Whites only' ad for South Africa
I saw a show yesterday listing the 100 most popular ads down through the years, and it featured the 1970's ad for Coke with dozens of racially mixed teenagers singing "I'd like to teach the world to sing". As a foot note, it mentioned that South Africa requested a version without black people in it, a request that was refused by Coke.
Any truth in this, it sounds a bit ULish to me.

Denis - I can't sing anyway - O'L.

lazerus the duck 12 March 2007 04:56 PM

I don't know the only thing that sounds wrong to me is that coke refused.

Stoneage Dinosaur 12 March 2007 05:32 PM


Originally Posted by lazerus the duck (Post 94113)
I don't know the only thing that sounds wrong to me is that coke refused.

At first I read that as meaning you thought coke were wrong not to make the ad. :eek: :lol:

I agree though, the South Africans' request for a whites only ad would be in fitting with their thinking during the period, the only doubt would be whether coke actually made one (according to wikipedia they did, as usual take this with a large pinch of salt).

matches 12 March 2007 07:07 PM

It would be far more likely that Coke produced differnt ads for the South African market. That is ususally what big multinational companies do, they produce differnt ads for each country they sell in, so that the ads have a local flavor, making the company seem like a local company as opposed to a faceless transnational organization.

I can't imagine who in South Africa would be "requesting" a buy the world a coke spot, and requesting it be reshot. I would think the distributors of Coke in South Africa would want ads that reflected thier nations sensibilities, as opposed to the feel good seventies spots that reflected an American ideal.

More likely than not, Coke produced white only ads for south africa, or possibly segregated ads for Coke, this isn't that uncommon, even in nations without enforced segregation. Honestly, most "Urban" ads don't have white faces, most general ads don't have black faces. If you're doing a feel good spot (like buy the world a coke) you might have that, but in general you pick the market for the ad, and put people who look like that market in the ad.

Paulie Jay 21 March 2007 01:53 PM

I seem to remember that the Coke ads I saw in the 1970s in Australia were locally made - not American imports (although they still contained the then current slogan). Most of the Coke ads featured well known parts of Australia, with an Australian cast.

With this in mind, I would imagine that the South African ads would also have been made locally (in SA, that is) with South African landmarks and casts, rather than importing whatever was the current US Coke ad.

It might well be true that South Africa had its own adverts, but not for the reason stated in the OP.

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