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Corrupt corporations should be critically analyzed


Americans everywhere both marveled and broke out in anger over Coca-Cola’s Super Bowl commercial this year and its broad support for our country’s ethnic and linguistic diversity. Some were incredibly glad to see the United States portrayed in the media as multicultural and multilingual, while others were shocked and appalled at this image of the U.S. speaking languages other than English, and showcasing people other than the white population. While there is great importance in making all ethnicities and linguistic communities in the U.S. known and highlighted in positive ways, there is also an issue with the maker of this commercial, Coca-Cola. Like everything in this world, Coca-Cola’s motives must be questioned.

The truth is that even though the general public sees an image of Coca-Cola promoting diversity, there are certainly and most obviously motives as to why Coca-Cola would pull such a stunt that are not positive, but for profit. On the surface, we see Coca-Cola promoting diversity. When diving deeper into the depths of Coca-Cola’s marketing perspectives, the logic is to grab the perspective of the people in order to hide certain flaws of the company. 

First and foremost, Coca-Cola is a multinational company focused on its profits and in order to be a company that gains so much revenue, corruption on gruesome levels must be present. Marketing stunts like the commercial for this year’s Super Bowl are nearly tradition for the company to cover their controversial discourse to gain money, power and support causes that are hateful and anything but supporting equality and diversity. 

For example, in the early 1990s, according to the book “Wild Capitalism” by Krista Harper, Coca-Cola participated in environmental and radical action camps not to promote environmentalism or radicalism, but to promote propaganda against its competitors making Coca-Cola look much like a radical savior while they were only in it to promote their hyper-capitalist approach to the market and monopolize. At the time, post-Soviet Hungary rejoiced and cheered such action, but with further analysis in years to come, many environmental activists took a step back and recognized the grand corruption encompassed by this seemingly positive marketing campaign by Coca-Cola, only to take a stronger chokehold on the market and the citizens of Hungary.

This is only one case of Coca-Cola’s long list of human rights violations. An important point in this discussion of Coca-Cola’s wrongdoings goes back to nine years ago at Rutgers University. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, a campaign titled “Killer Coke” was up and running at the University to boycott all Coca-Cola products on the basis that Coca-Cola was terrorizing several thousand Coca-Cola workers in Columbia, murdering eight workers. The company remained unobservant, but the news got out and it became time for Coca-Cola to take responsibility for their malicious actions. Because of such enormous corruption, Rutgers University took action to switch to PepsiCo, a different beverage company, although it is also corrupt in nature. 

Coca-Cola has also been reported to have supported the 2014 Sochi Olympics in Russia, ignorant of the violations against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people that the country has made, use of dangerous pesticides which lead the Indian state of Kerala to banning its products in 2006 for concern of public health for their citizens, excessive water use depleting countries all around the world of their water supply, bribery, support of the South African and Palestinian apartheids and racial discrimination within its company. All in all, there are several allegations of severe human rights violations by Coca-Cola. The commercial displaying diversity should be incredibly reassessed by all. 

What we see on the television and in the media needs critical analysis. Coca-Cola is one of many beverage companies in the world capitalizing on political issues in order to gain profit. Their motives, as many other giant corporations aim, are to take over the market and make money. Their goals are far from promoting diversity, and this should be seen but and recognized.


Kaitlin D’Agostino is a class of 2012 University alumna.

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