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Coca Cola Ethics Essay

2304 words - 10 pages

Summary: Provide a summary of the company, and the facts and issues of the case.

According to Ferrell, the Coca-Cola Company is the world’s largest beverage company, and markets four of the world’s top five leading soft drinks. The company operates the largest distribution system in the world, which enables it to serve customers and businesses in more than two hundred countries. The Coca-Cola Company estimates that about 85 percent of its sales come from outside the United States (Ferrell). Former CEO Roberto Goizueta once said “Coca-Cola used to be an American company with a large international business. Now we are a large international company with a sizable American business” ...view middle of the document...

While Coca-Cola had issues with their products being contaminated they also had issues with abiding European antitrust laws as well. According to Ferrell, PepsiCo and Virgin accused Coca-Cola of using rebates and discounts to crowd their products off shelves, thereby gaining greater market share. Coca-Cola’s strong arm tactics proved to be in violation of European laws and demonstrated Coca-Colas lack of awareness to European culture and laws (Ferrell). Coca-Colas unethical issues didn’t stop with their competitive and product issues, they also extended to unethical behavior towards their employees and unethical behavior from their employees. According to Ferrell, in 1999 an estimated two thousand current and former African American employees accused Coca-Cola of racial discrimination concerning the employees pay, promotions, and performance evaluations (Ferrell). Coca-Cola’s unethical issues didn’t just occur from the treatment of its employees they also extended to the behavior of their employees. According to Ferrell, a Coca-Cola administrative secretary and two accomplices were arrested in 2006 and charged with fraud and unlawfully stealing and selling trade secrets from the Coca-Cola Company. The incident occurred when the employees contacted PepsiCo and offered to sell them classified material concerning some of Coca-Cola’s top-secret products (Ferrell). The Coca-Cola Company also had some occurrences of unethical issues concerning its investors. According to Ferrell, in 2002 Coca-Cola was accused of fraud in a market study of their frozen Coke drink that was performed on behalf of Burger King. Additionally, in the late 90’s and early 2000’s Coca-Cola was found to be channel stuffing its products to Japanese bottlers in order to inflate financial statement earnings and mislead its investors (Ferrell). Despite that the Coca-Cola Company may have had a rough past 10 years; they have managed to still fulfill their social responsibility. According to Ferrell, the Coca-Cola Company provides grants and scholarships to more than half of the United States. Additionally, they sponsor a program called “Education on Wheels” (Ferrell) in Singapore that teaches children communication skills. Coca-Cola is also involved with UNAIDS which is an organization that’s objective is to put into place important initiatives and programs to help combat the threat of the HIV/AIDS epidemic (Ferrell). While the Coca-Cola Company has had its issues in the past and some still in current day the company is taking provisions to restore its reputation to the world. Since Coca-Cola’s unethical issues the Coca-Cola Company has according to Ferrell, hired an outside task force that includes business and civil rights experts and allowed them to have unprecedented power to dictate company policy with regard to hiring, compensating, and promoting (Ferrell). Coca-Cola has worked to settle the allegations with the Belgian government concerning their past contamination cases. The...

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