Boycott-Coke | 12.11.2004 13:30 | Globalisation
Fuck-em! Their empire is on the wane, and we're gonna dance on their ashes! Ha-ha-Ha!
Note: in light of the fact that consumers are leaving their product on the shelf because their drink is so high-sugar and so not compatible to the growing trend towards healthier lifestyles, is the joke not lost on them that their chief marketing officer is called "Chuck Fruit"!
Coke Chief promises ‘dramatic changes’
Isdell insists US drinks giant ‘will become great again’
By Andrew Ward in New York
Friday 12th November 2004
Neville Isdell, Coca Cola’s chairman and chief executive, yesterday acknowledged the deep problems besetting the world’s biggest drinks group and promised “dramatic” changes in the way it does business.
Speaking to investors and analysts, Mr Isdell said: “We’re not talking about radical changes in strategy. We’re talking about a dramatic change in execution”.
“We’ve got to restore that drive, that enthusiasm and put fuel back in the tank.”
He was speaking as the group cut it’s long-term growth targets and warned of continued weakness next year in Germany and North America, where calorie-conscious consumers are shifting from sugary carbonated drinks to bottled water and fruit juices.
But Mr Isdell dismissed suggestions that the carbonated drinks markets was in terminal decline and insisted the company’s main focus would remain its core Coke and Diet Coke brands. He said he was confident the company could “become great again”.
Mr Isdell, who was called out of retirement six months ago to revive Coca-Cola after months of management upheaval and sluggish sales, pledged an additional $350m-$400m (£190m-£215m) of annual investment, much of it on a fresh marketing push to restore the “iconic status” of Coke.
“Unless we have a healthy Coca-Cola [brand] we will not have a healthy Coca-Cola company”, Mr Isdell said. But he warned that it would be 18 months to two years before the company was turned round and said: “2005 is not going to deliver the returns that will be satisfactory to me as a shareholder”.
The long-term target for annual volume growth was cut from 5 to 6% to 3 to 4%. Operating income growth was projected at 6 to 8%, against the previous 10%. The shares closed down 25 cents – 0.6% - to $40.92, less than half their $88 peak in 1998.
Mr Isdell promised to restore to Coca-Cola the passion and enthusiasm that had been sucked from the Atlanta-based company by recent job cuts and restructuring.
Chuck fruit, chief marketing officer, said there had been too much local, product specific advertising and not enough building of the global brand. Advertising has not been as consistently effective as it should have been”, he said.
Mr Isdell was confident Coca-Cola would recover in north America and western Europe once structural problems were resolved.
_ Kevin Roberts, chief executive of Saatchi & Saatchi, the advertising agency, said he expected US brands such as Coca-Cola to face “growing resistance from Europe and Asia” because of opposition to US political policies. Mr Roberts said: “Consumers are going to be pissed off at having Brand America rammed down their throats.”
He expected US multinationals to change their marketing messages to portray their brands in as local a way as possible.