Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 10, 2012 10:28 AM
Bolivia was recently rumored to be dispensing with Coca-Cola after this year’s Summer Solstice on Dec. 21 — which wouldn't have been quite the global boost the soda maker was hoping its sponsorship of the Olympics would bring it.
“The twenty-first of December 2012 is the end of selfishness, of division,” Bolivia’s Minister of External Affairs, David Choquehuanca, said according to Forbes. “The twenty-first of December has to be the end of Coca-Cola and the beginning of mocochinche (a local peach-flavored soft drink). The planets will line up after 26,000 years. It is the end of capitalism and the beginning of communitarianism.”
The news that Coca-Cola's days might be numbered in a country that had McDonald's evicted in 2002, according to Care2.com, didn't seem entirely beyond the realm of whackiness. But the rumors of any Bolivian marching orders were not only incorrect but "taken out of context," and Coca-Cola execs in the market can rest assured. "Foreign Minister Choquehuanca's statements about Coca-Cola were taken out of context and there is nothing official," Bolivia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Consuelo Ponce told Dow Jones.
A Coca-Cola spokesperson provided the following statement to brandchannel:
"The Coca-Cola Company has been a part of the community in Bolivia, generating jobs, generating income for thousands of customers, suppliers and workers, and refreshing people since 1941. Additionally, we support education and other initiatives that create positive social impact in the community. Like the Bolivian economy, our business has been growing steadily and we have plans to continue our investments and growth in the coming years."
That's good news for the nation of 11 million consumers, where “consumption of Coca-Cola products has tripled in Bolivia since 2001 and has increased notably in all Latin American countries.” And it's not like Bolivia needs any more bad press with anything that remotely sounds like "coke."