Coca-Cola has apologized for a South Africa social media campaign that banned the word ‘gay’.
The Sochi Olympics sponsor set up a new marketing campaign in South Africa encouraging fans to share a virtual can of Coke personalized with a friend’s name or message.
But when it was discovered they had banned the word ‘gay’, by itself, then it caused an outrage.
Coca Cola has now apologized for what they call an ‘unintended outcome’.
A spokesman said: ‘We are aware that the Share A Coke promotion we are running in South Africa has generated an unintended outcome. We apologize for any offense caused.
‘The Share a Coke program was created to allow consumers to take the iconic “Coca-Cola” script and replace it with their name on the can.
‘In South Africa, the digital version of the Share a Coke promotion did not properly limit the customisation to individuals’ names.
‘We’ve taken down the site and are in the process of revising the digital tool immediately.
‘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.
‘Again we apologize for any offense this has caused.’
The soft drink giant has also come under attack for defending the arrest of the gay rights advocate for waving a rainbow flag during the Olympic flame relay in Russia.
Coca-Cola, Visa, McDonald's and other sponsors of the Sochi Olympic games have all come under fire for not speaking up against Russia's anti-gay laws.