Coca-Cola defended itself against the WikiLeak claims

Coca-Cola defended itself against the WikiLeak claims

The Coca-Cola Co has defended its use of private investigators to track potential protests by animal rights group PETA in the lead-up to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

According to internal emails released yesterday (27 February) on the WikiLeaks whistleblower website, the US soft drinks giant asked Texas-based Stratfor to find out "what kind of support PETA had in Canada". It also asked what PETA's methods were for carrying out protests and the extent to which the activist group might be "connected to anarchist groups".

When contacted by just-drinks, a spokesperson for Coca-Cola defended the soft drinks maker's actions ahead of the Vancouver Winter Olympics. "We consider it prudent to monitor for protest activities at any major event we sponsor, as such activities may affect our partners, customers, consumers or employees," the spokesperson said today.

The emails to Stratfor were reportedly obtained by the online hacker collective known as Anonymous, the Vancouver Sun reported, before being passed on to WikiLeaks.