To combat negative public opinion, the beverage giant learned effective ways to respond to false allegations online
Let’s look at how Coca-Cola has handled a few such scenarios.
Three years ago, an Argentine competitor of Dasani water (a Coca-Cola subsidiary) launched a social media smear campaign against the brand.
The campaign caused a significant decline in Dasani’s sales and reputation. At the height of the attacks, one in three consumers of bottled water in Argentina had heard the rumors, and 60 percent of those that had heard them believed them, says Dana Bolden, who leads Coke’s corporate media relations efforts.
This experience, and others, taught Coke that it’s important to pay attention to cyber-bullying. They learned that the right attack can reputational damage and loss in sales.
“Protecting against cyber-bullying is really one of those efforts where you dig your well when you’re not thirsty,” Bolden says. “What you need to do to protect yourself from cyber-bullying as a corporation is build the resources and make sure you have things ready to go prior to the crisis happening.”