In this age of branding, even plain old milk needs a big ad campaign and celebrity endorsements. But another popular beverage, tap water, has no such support — a tactical misstep that has left it vulnerable to aggressive competitors like the Coca-Cola Company
Coca-Cola offered a glimpse of its battle plan against tap water in an article on one of its Web sites headlined "The Olive Garden Targets Tap Water & WINS."Aimed at restaurants selling the company's fountain drinks, the article laid out Coke's antiwater program for the Olive Garden chain as a"success story" for others to emulate.
The Associated Press
Coca-Cola's entry in the bottled-water sweepstakes.
The article was posted three years ago but went unnoticed until this summer, when Rob Cockerham, a graphic designer in Sacramento, Calif., stumbled across it. It then spread through Internet circles until Coca-Cola started fielding questions about it and took the entire site down. A spokeswoman said the company was concerned that the site, which was due to be dismantled anyway, might be misinterpreted by consumers.