Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Coke and Crescent?

It looks like Coca-Cola has jumped on the bandwagon of Allah! For Ramadan this year (September 2008), it seems Coke will be releasing a can design with the internationally known symbol of Islam: The Star and Crescent. Adorning the national flags of at least 11 Islamic countries, these symbols have become part of Coca-Cola's marketing scheme to appeal to Muslims, but not any other faith group. Granted, Jews can drink "Kosher" Coke, but where is the Star of David during Chanukah? What about the Cross of Christ during Christmas? Although I think this kind of commercialization of Christendom would be both tacky and inappropriate, it still causes one to question why preference is given to Islam, particularly during the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the United States. Looking back to the question of Christmas, it is true that Santa Claus has been a common marketing ploy for Coca-Cola cans and bottles throughout the years. In fact, the modern-day image of Santa (particularly red and white) was popularized by Coca-Cola in the 1930's (although they did not create him nor were they the first to depict him in such a manner). These details aside, the depiction of a fat, old elf taking on the attributes of God (omniscience, omnipresence, immortality [as eternality], etc.) are no consolation to the Christian community, but rather an offense to the message of the Gospel. Sadly, none of this matters to Coca-Cola who is only out to make a buck. If you don't think this is the case, you'll have to take my word as I have worked for the company twice and held 3 different positions (in either sales or distribution). As a final point, can Muslims even drink Classic Coke? As far as I can tell, the only flavors considered Halal are Vanilla Coke, Diet Vanilla Coke, and Cherry Coke.

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