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Ernst & Young: What is the Cost to Coke of Ongoing Protests?

Never Asked

Has anyone at Ernst & Young or at Coca-Cola been calculating how much Coke has been losing in revenues and brand value since the company refuses to adequately address festering and growing allegations of labor, human rights and environmental abuses?

Dozens of schools, including Rutgers University, State University of New York at Stoney Brook, DePaul University and University of Bangor in the UK, have removed Coke products from their campuses because of Coke's human rights and environmental abuses. Just the loss of the exclusive contracts and having all Coke beverages removed from Rutgers University and State University of New York-Stoney Brook, with a combined population of more than 100,000 students, faculty and staff, is costing the company tens of millions of dollars in lost revenues and loss of brand value. Coke's brand value suffers since these schools no longer churn out lifelong consumers addicted to their brand name and beverages.

To make matters worse, many labor organizations have passed resolutions and removed Coke machines and banned Coke products from facilities and functions and this movement is growing.

In January, Local 1549 of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Union, the 18,000 AFSCME local in New York City, approved a resolution to eliminate all Coca-Cola products from union offices and events

Also in January, the Denver Area Labor Federation unanimously passed a resolution to boycott all Coke products. The affiliates of the labor council represent 130,000 members.

And the United Autoworkers international union is moving forward to becoming a Coca-Cola-free union. Its new president, Bob King, in a large rally in Columbus, Georgia, told a crowd, "We have to stand in solidarity...we're going to pull Coke out of the international union and all of our shops and we're going to ask all our local unions to do the same!" The UAW has 390,000 active members and more than 600,000 retired members in the U.S and Canada.

You can soon expect to see other colleges, unions and labor councils also stepping up to the plate and removing Coke products.

Has anyone calculated the impact that these activities have had on lost revenues and the brand value of the Company?