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May 1, 2003

CHINA: Coke pulls toy after Swastika confusion

Coca-Cola, having come under fire from Jewish leaders, has pulled a promotional toy it was using in Hong Kong, which featured an emblem that looked like a Nazi swastika. The plastic figurine called "Robowaru" was from a Japanese TV programme called "Robocon". The original character is adorned with Buddhist symbols which are nearly a reverse image of the Swastika, with the four arms pointing counter-clockwise.

Coca-Cola, having come under fire from Jewish leaders, has pulled a promotional toy it was using in Hong Kong, which featured an emblem that looked like a Nazi swastika.

The plastic figurine called “Robowaru” was from a Japanese TV programme called “Robocon”. The original character is adorned with Buddhist symbols which are nearly a reverse image of the Swastika, with the four arms pointing counter-clockwise.

However on the toy the arms ran clockwise, the same way as the Nazi swastika. A Coke spokesperson said she regretted any misunderstanding this may have caused.

The toy was available to buy for HK$28 (US$3.60) when you bought six bottles of Coke.

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