Editor's note: Since this post was published, the "Share a Coke" campaign has come to the U.S. Learn more about the campaign, see some of our favorite videos from around the world, and see what you can do if you haven't found your name.)
Our “Share A Coke” promotion, which is running in several markets around the globe, is intended to allow people to take the Coca-Cola script and replace it with their name on the can. Unfortunately, in South Africa, the digital version of the "Share a Coke" promotion did not limit the customization to individuals’ names. Specifically, the name and message auto-generator on our South Africa "Share A Coke" website would not accept the word "Gay", but did accept the word "Straight". This isn't how the program was supposed to work, and we've pulled the site down until we can fix the problem.
We apologize for this mistake. As one of the world’s most inclusive brands, we value and celebrate diversity. We have long been a strong supporter of the LGBT community and have advocated for inclusion, equality and diversity through both our policies and practices.
More than 700,000 Coca-Cola system associates get up every morning determined to make the world a happier place and, when errors like this happen, we take it seriously. Thank you for raising this with us, and we’ll get it fixed.
Vukani Magubane, Coca-Cola South Africa.