Coca-Cola banned the word "lesbian" on their customisable Pride bottles
24 June 2021, 13:29
"Palestine" and "Black Lives Matter" were also banned.
Coca-Cola has been criticised for refusing to allow customers to customise their Pride bottles with the word "lesbian".
Coca-Cola's online customisation tool lets people create their own custom label for glass bottles for $6 and, in honour of Pride month, there's also an option to include the Pride flag.
However, the word "lesbian" was banned (but you can customise your bottle to read "gay", "transgender" and "bisexual"), and when customers tried to type it in they were met with the message: "Oops! Looks like the name you requested is not an approved one. Names may not be approved if they’re potentially offensive to other people, trademarked, or celebrity names. We've worked hard to get this list right, but sometimes we mess up."
Other words which users reported had been banned included "Palestine" and "Black Lives Matter". However, "Israel" and "Blue Lives Matter" were allowed. All of these terms have now been banned.
Coca-Cola received backlash for blacklisting certain words and allowing others, and for capitalising on Pride month. Trans activist Arthur Webber tweeted: "Coca-Cola allowing you to put every anti-trans slur on their rainbow bottles but banning you from writing ‘lesbian’ is peak corporate pride tbh."
Coca Cola allowing you to put every anti-trans slur on their rainbow bottles but banning you from writing “lesbian” is peak corporate pride tbh— Arthur Webber 🏳️🌈🌹 (@BernieTranders) June 22, 2021
1. Go to https://t.co/JiabeZBSoA— Rami Ismail (رامي) (@tha_rami) June 21, 2021
2. Enter "Palestine"
3. Get an error because Coca Cola thinks Palestine is offensive.
4. Enter "Israel"
5. Get no error because Coca Cola thinks Israel is not offensive.
What's up @CocaCola?
So according to coca-cola “lesbian” is offensive but they allow you to put all this… pic.twitter.com/czGjfRmgNQ— lesphobe struggle tweets (@lesphobe) June 23, 2021
Lesbian is offensive to coke apparently pic.twitter.com/uzMmsSlUBH— Arthur Webber 🏳️🌈🌹 (@BernieTranders) June 22, 2021
To say that Coke fucked this one up is the understatement of the century.— Nick McCormick (@NickTonyMack) June 21, 2021
I kept going for a few minutes, and there's a lot more offensive ones that went through fine.
Real glad they covered their bases with Palestine and common Muslim names tho. pic.twitter.com/kMllQtZ5Gy
Following the criticism, Coca-Cola now appears to have permitted the use of "lesbian" on the customisable bottles.
In a statement to Metro.co.uk, a spokesperson said: "We’re continuously refining and improving our Share A Coke personalisation tool to ensure it is used only for its intended purpose – for Coca-Cola fans to celebrate with one another and make connections. We add terms and phrases if we feel they are consistent with that intent."