The Shmooze

Experts Say Coca-Cola Should Not Respond to Pro-Zionist Rumors

By Katherine Clarke

  • Print
  • Share Share
Wikimedia Commons

Bizarre rumors surrounding Coca-Cola’s religious and political affiliations have circulated for years. Some of the most popular suggest that the company is Jewish-run and bankrolls Israel. Others propose that, read backwards in Arabic, its logo says “No Muhammad, No Mecca.”

Although these accusations remain entirely unsubstantiated and unlikely, the company chooses to step up and clarify. Wise move? Maybe not, according to recent opinions voiced by experts in the Economist.

Responding to the Jewish Zionist question, Coke’s website reads:

“We believe the origins of this rumor date back to 1967, when the Arab League pronounced a boycott against companies for conducting business in Israel, following the tensions in the Middle East. The Coca-Cola Company and its bottling partners were present in many Arab and Muslim countries before Coca-Cola was introduced in Israel, and came back to the Arab countries as soon as the boycott was lifted.”

It continues: “Spreading such allegations is an attempt to exploit a delicate situation in the Middle East, and to falsely suggest that the Coca-Cola business takes sides.”

From a sales perspective, Coke could just be covering its bases with Arab nations, in which sales consistently fall below that of rival Pepsi, but, in denying the accusations, it may simply be propagating them further.

Derek Rucker and David Dubois, of the Kellogg School of Management claim, based on extensive research, that with each repetition of a rumor, no matter what the message or context, skepticism fades.

“The company’s web page is a magnet for search engines”, Rucker tells the magazine, “and people who read rebuttals tend to forget the denial and remember only the rumor.”


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Israel, Economist, Coca-Cola

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.