Coca-Cola has issued an apology to a Canadian family because of a Vitaminwater cap that had a particularly offensive message printed on the bottom. Blake Loates of Edmonton in Alberta opened her beverage and read the words "YOU RETARD," written inside of the cap. One of Loates' younger sisters, Fiona, 11, has cerebral palsy and autism.
“The R-word is just something we don’t say in my family,” Blake said. “My dad is quite upset and is on a rampage.”
Loates' father Doug wrote a letter to Coca-Cola about the cap, ABC News reported.
"What would you do if you opened up your bottle of Vitamin Water and on the bottom of the lid it read, "YOU RETARD"?" Doug wrote. "Think about it. I bet you'd be pissed off if you had a Fiona in your life… Can you imagine if SHE had opened this bottle?"
Coca-Cola representatives say that the language inside of the cap was part of promotion where one random English word is paired with a second random French word. In French, "retard" means "late" or "delayed." Similar caps that were still at Coca-Cola facilities have been destroyed.
“We did not mean to offend at all,” said Shannon Denny, director of brand communications for Coca-Cola Refreshment Canada. “We are certainly very apologetic for this oversight. We have spoken to the family to offer our sincerest apologies and to explain the production process to them. This is certainly not an excuse in any way for what has occurred. We wanted them to know that this was in no way intentional and was a mistake on our part during the review process. We also wanted to share that the promotion has since been cancelled and we are no longer producing bottles with those caps."