Coca-Cola's Belgian Crisis - The Public Relations Fiasco
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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.
The Belgian crisis broke out on June 08, 1999. Thirty-three children aged between 11 and 13 of St. Mary School in Bornem, Brussels, complained of headaches, discomfort, dizziness and nausea. A few vomited and were sent home. The school management then made efforts to find out why so many students had fallen ill.
With things not going their way, Coca-Cola's executives came forward with an explanation of what had gone wrong. They claimed that their experts had investigated the problem by testing the suspect batches for chemicals and the tests showed nothing toxic in the beverages...
Exhibit I: The Coca-Cola Promise
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