Coke Learned Nothing From the Diet Coke/Mentos Phenomenon


Because Coke's My Coke Rewards was performing dismally, some employees - all of whom were expressly forbidden at the outset - were asked to participate in the brand's My Coke rewards online promotions. Seemingly to boost activity on the site, the request seems to have backfired for employees who exceeded a pre-set limit of 2,000 points.

When one employee, Frank Grant, who did what he was told and participated in the program noticed he had accumulated more than 2,000 points and was made aware of the 2,000 point limit - likely buried deep within the fine print, he offered to return the merchandise he acquired from his points. Sounds fair enough, right? Wrong. Rather than rectify the situation in a normal fashion, Coke told Grant to resign or face getting fired. According to the Vellejo Times, many other employees faced the same situation.

Coke tossed the whole thing off with uncaring corporate indifference saying, "The company has policies and procedures and a clear business code of conduct, and any employee who violates these, we'll take the appropriate action, up to and including termination, if necessary. Coca-Cola has always and continues to treat our employees with fairness, dignity and respect. Our people are the core of our business and remembering that is a top priority of this company."

You can't ask employees to help you out and then fire them. That's just wrong. And stupid. And uncaring. And idiotic. Some things never change.

by Steve Hall    Aug-12-08   Click to Comment   
Topic: Brands, Opinion, Social, Worst   

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I think that its downright shameful for the Coca-Cola company to do that with its employees. Its obvious that they deemed it necessary to have employee participation to improve overall results. Better thought and planning upfront with a whole lot more of communicating the rules to employees should have been the first step. Scratch that. If there were going to be such harsh actions taken if an employee broke a rule, then the program should have never been offered up to the employees. I guess the value of a incentive program like this is far worth more than life of an employee. Nice going.

Posted by: Christopher on August 12, 2008 3:31 PM

And yet a Google add for My coke rewards is running on the same page view with this article?? weird.

Posted by: Connie on August 13, 2008 9:43 AM

I did the Coke Rewards thing for a while, I had several thousand points and several thousand more to put in. (I drink a lot of diet coke, almost nothing else) But the strict limit of 10 codes per day and the kludgy way you had to enter them on the lousy flash webpage, combined with the lousy "rewards" made me decide to just throw my un-used codes away and let the ones I'd entered into the system expire.

This is potentially a data goldmine for Coke. You get your products distributed around the country and the CONSUMERS of those products telling you where they bought the product and how much of it they consume. (Among other valuable and marketable tidbits)

Keeping that in mind, does it really surprise you that they'd pull this sort of asshattery? I say the guy is better off finding another job. Who'd want to work for a company like that?

Posted by: kate on August 13, 2008 10:40 AM