Coke: Ethical Issues

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

Case Details:


Case Code : BECG014 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 300;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 300 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges


Ethics in Business
Case Length : 12 Pages
Period : 1999-2001
Pub. Date : 2002
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : Coke, Belgian Health Ministry
Industry : Food & Beverages
Countries : Belgium


The case discusses the crisis faced by Coke in Europe when people fell ill after consuming its products. The case also brings out the ethical dimensions involved in Coke's exclusive school contracts, which was done to promote soft drink sales among school children.

The case is designed to help students critically analyse the ethical issues involved during Coke's European crisis and the exclusive school contracts controversy in the US. Students must appreciate the role of sound ethics in doing business.


Understanding the characteristics of ethical issues in business in relation to the sale of soft drinks, food and beverages as well as advertising in schools through exclusive contracts, analysing them economically, legally and philosophically and reaching the right, just and proper decision.

Highlighting the ethical, legal and economic aspects involved in promoting a harmful product to schoolchildren through exclusive contracts with schools.

Discussing the implications of advertising to schoolchildren on moral and social grounds.

Exploring the alternatives to the problems associated with selling soft drinks and other junk foods by corporations.

Examining the various issues and consequences involved in the campaign for commercial-free schools.

Understanding the government's role in regulating the corporate contracts with schools.


  Page No.
The Recall 1
Background Note 2
Exclusive School Contracts 4
The Explanation 6
Exhibits 7


Coca-Cola, District schools controversy, Exclusive school contracts, Public relations problem, Unethical business practices, Harmful effects of soft drinks, Belgium controversy

The Recall - Next Page>>


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