Canadian Packaging

Bottle cap contains offensive message

Coca-Cola's Vitaminwater bottle cap had offensive comment printed in it.


September 20, 2013
by Canadian Packaging Staff

Better never than late.

To the casual consumer, no one is  sure of the logic behind combining random words as something fun to be found under a beverage bottle cap.

As such, Coca-Cola has taken it on the chin after a random combination of words produced “You retard” on the bottle cap liner of a bottle of Vitaminwater. Image can be found HERE.

While that would be considered poor taste to anyone finding that message, the damage was even worse when it was found on September 17, 2013 and reported by consumer Doug Loates who says that the word ‘retard’ is considered a swear word in his family.

Loates, who lives in Tacoma, Wash. with his twin 11-year-old daughters—both of whom have disabilities: Maddi is visually-impaired and Fiona has cerebral palsy.

After a letter was sent to Coca-Cola, the beverage maker responded quickly with an apology and said it was an accident.

The Vitaminwater website says that the messages on the bottle caps randomly combine French and English words in the hope it would create some fun wordplay for the consumer. In this case, assuming that the word ‘retard’ is a French word, it means ‘late’.

To avoid a repeat, Coca-Cola says it has destroyed the remaining caps.