Coca-Cola has pulled the plug on a ‘virtual coke’ website after a row erupted over the site filtering the word “gay”.
The company has now taken down the website, and told Buzzfeed: “We are aware that the Share a Coke promotion we are running in South Africa has generated an unintended outcome. We apologise for any offence caused.
“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.”
They added: “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 apologise for any offence this has caused.”
Coca-Cola are a sponsor of the Winter Olympic games in Russia next month, and have faced protests for their silence over gay rights abuses in the region.
An AllOut petition urging the Coca-Cola management urging them to speak out publicly against Russia’s anti-gay legislation received over 150,000 signatures.