The Coca-Cola Co has been forced to apologise over an advert for its Fanta brand in Germany and has denied the brand has any links to Hitler or the Nazi Party.

The ad was produced to mark the 75th anniversary of Fanta, and promotes the company's new Fanta Classic brand. The spot highlights the fact that Fanta came into being because Coca-Cola’s German bottlers were unable to source soda syrup in the late 1930s. The reason for scarce resources was trade embargoes against Germany during World World II, according to other media reports.

The ad ends with the line: “To celebrate we are bringing back the feel of the 'Good Old Times' with the new Fanta Classic.” 

However, the company's German unit has since withdrawn the ad. In a statement to just-drinks today, a Coca-Cola spokesperson said: "We apologise for any offence caused by a video promoting our new Fanta Classic product in Germany.

"The new product is based on the original Fanta formula and the video was intended to evoke positive childhood memories of many consumers over more than seven decades of Fanta brand history. Fanta was invented in Germany during the Second World War, but the 75-year-old brand had no association with Hitler or the Nazi Party."

It is the second time in the space of a month Coca-Cola has had its marketing efforts hit by controversy in Europe. Last month, its 'Make it Happy' Twitter campaign was hijacked, with sections of Hitler's Mein Kampf being tweeted from the company's official account