Blog: Andy MortonSome things don't add up at The Coca-Cola Co

Andy Morton | 25 February 2016

Coca-Cola is involved in a trademark tussle

Coca-Cola is involved in a trademark tussle

The Coca-Cola Co is smarting after an EU court setback in its attempt to trademark a new bottle design.

You can read the story here, but of perhaps greater interest is a nugget of information contained in the court's ruling (here) that raises questions over documents submitted by Coca-Cola to support an earlier appeal.

In 2014, The EU’s trademark office, known as OHIM, was highly critical of consumer surveys from Coca-Cola, saying it "expressed serious doubts" over their reliability. OHIM's Board of Appeals said the surveys contained “leading questions” and produced results that, confusingly, did not even add up to 100%.

Also, the board said that instead of being carried out by a “recognised market research company”, as stated by Coca-Cola, the surveys were handled by a former Coca-Cola director who had become an independent market research consultant.

Is this simply corporate ineptitude? Coca-Cola declined to respond to just-drinks beyond saying it was disappointed with the EU court's ruling.

But, it is a surprise to find a company as big as Coca-Cola unable to even make consumer survey percentages add up to a whole number. Does nobody have a calculator in Atlanta?

Sectors: Soft drinks, Water

Companies: Coca-Cola Co

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