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I'd like to teach the world to sing ... for mercy

Thirsty1Despite severe water shortages in India, Coke continues to soak up 500,000 liters a day there to make its sugary beverage. Adland notes notes that it takes roughly seven times as much water to create one bottle of Coke.

As ironic commentary, Indian photographer Sharad Haksar created a billboard from a photo of water jugs lined up at a pump in front of a Coca-Cola billboard. Coke hated it so much that have demanded an apology and have threatened to sue him for 2 million rupees ($46,000) for defamation. Haskar told Coke, in essence, to fuck off.

While clearly critical, I can't see how this is at all defamatory. Maybe Coke has the same lawyers as Transports Schiocchet Excursions. I also don't think that this is the most savvy public relations move either, given Coke's other problems in India.

(via adland and Eyeteeth)

Posted by Charles Star on 07/13/2005 | Permalink


The image itself doesn't seem too inflamatory. Haskar must be on to something if citizens and Coke both seem to be reacting to this so vehemently.

Posted by: eli | Jul 14, 2005 3:05:58 PM

Funny we have similar posts. See here:

Btw, I know Sharad and his work. I think Coke has nothing on him. As a photojournalist, what is seen and captured in plain site is fair game and can be copyrighted as one's own art work.

Also, if what you say is true (about the water consumption for one bottle of Coke), I am never ever going to drink a Coke in India again.

Posted by: Seshu | Jul 14, 2005 5:14:25 PM

Go get 'em, Sharad!

Posted by: Beerzie Boy | Jul 14, 2005 6:07:08 PM

Seshu... there's a lot more reasons than this that you shouldn't drink COke... *anywhere*. And I'm not just talking about the health reasons.

Coke likes to murder Union leaders.

Posted by: andy | Jul 14, 2005 10:54:52 PM

Sharad has $100 dollars from me. Anyone know how I can get in touch?

Posted by: Jim Walls | Jul 14, 2005 11:50:52 PM

How do you get in touch with him? Hmm..I'd first trying clicking his link above and then clicking on his "contact" information.

Posted by: Roderick Thomas | Jul 15, 2005 5:06:44 PM

Where do you find this nonsense from? There is no way that billboard would be sanctioned by Coca-Cola. A poorly hand drawn effort. Sounds like self promotion from a very average photographer. Did you know that sugar cane requires large amounts of water to grow. It's this water that's being included in the per litre production calculation for Coke. Surely you're not that ignorant. Do you use 100 litres of water to make a Curry because the chilli plant likes to be watered a lot? Me thinks not.

Posted by: Anon | Jul 18, 2005 7:46:46 AM

Love is two people sipping Coca Cola from the same straw on a warm sunny day.

Posted by: Lamar Cole | Sep 30, 2005 2:09:29 PM

Apparently I do not understand the antethesis of this argument. The coke that is sold is indeed being sold in India; is it not? If there is such a demand for water, why are the people in India buying Coka-Cola as opposed to water? If there was a shortage of wheat, the masses would be demanding wheat as opposed to purchasing wheaties brand cereal. If oxygen was a commodity to be pursued, people would buy raw oxygen instead of a name brand oxygen. It is improbable that a country who is lacking in a raw commodity would splurge on a product made from that raw commodity as opposed to purchasing the raw product.
The people of Ireland in the 1800's suffered through a tremendous potato famon; during this time it was impossible to find potatoes for consumption; they did not buy potato chips. To say that India suffers from a water shortage, but they choose to purchase coca-cola, is to say that Nebraska suffers from a beef shortage but they choose to purchase Mcdonald's hamburgers.

Posted by: | Jun 15, 2008 9:56:06 PM

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