Back in April, the Coca-Cola Journey editorial team noticed this wonderful article on the enduring love of TaB, our first zero-calorie drink, in the Lexington Herald-Leader. The author, Cheryl Truman, and the wonderful folks at the Herald-Leader gave us permission to repost the piece, and it proved popular with readers.  A short while later, one of our colleagues asked us to take it down. They didn’t feel like some elements of the piece, specifically the bit about the taste tasting artificial, reflected well on TaB.  Our team disagreed.

To me, the article is a great reminder of why people love Coke and our brands.  It's a love letter to one of our most enduring drinks, and showcases consumers who love the product and are fiercely loyal to it.  As an employee, I want to hug these people. 

Sure, the article does bring up TaB's taste. Fair enough. That's not going to be news to anyone who has ever tasted TaB, and it's nothing we haven't heard before.  But more importantly for our health and wellbeing work, the article points out that all the studies questioning TaB's safety have been proven to be total bunk. Score one for the Coke team.

This is a great piece that we could not have written better ourselves. Because, if we had, it wouldn't have been authentic. With Journey, we've made a commitment to be a transparent curator of great work, even when it makes us uncomfortable. We aren't going to interest our readers by endlessly thumping idealized Coke messaging from our pages.  We're going to win when we help remind people why they love us and how our products have been their partners in a life filled with great memories. 

When we print (or in this case reprint) articles like this, pieces which would make a less courageous company run for boilerplate and brand safe blather, we say that we are a whole lot braver than that. We’re getting there.

Ashley Brown is Group Director of Digital Communications and Social Media at The Coca-Cola Company.