Coca-Cola’s ad in Bangladesh sparked backlash for reportedly denying ties with Israel.


A 60-second Coca-Cola advertisement in Bangladesh has stirred controversy for attempting to distance itself from Israel amidst the Gaza conflict. Since October 7, when Israel’s offensive on Gaza began, numerous companies, including Coca-Cola, have faced reduced sales in Muslim-majority nations due to calls for boycotting firms allegedly tied to the Israeli government and military.

According to local reports, Coca-Cola’s sales in Bangladesh have dropped by approximately 23% during the Gaza war. In response, the company has ramped up its advertising efforts in the country, from full-page newspaper ads to prominent placements on news websites.

In its latest bid to bolster sales, Coca-Cola launched an advertisement on television and social media, aiming to dispel the “misinformation” that it is an Israeli product. The ad highlights that Coca-Cola has been enjoyed worldwide for 138 years in 190 countries.

The Bengali-language advertisement opens in a market on a hot day, where a young man approaches a middle-aged shopkeeper watching a Coke Studio song on his phone. The shopkeeper offers the young man a Coke, but he declines, stating he no longer consumes it because “this stuff is from ‘that place’,” implying Israel without directly naming it.

The shopkeeper engages in a conversation with the young man and his friends, explaining that Coca-Cola is not from Israel and dismissing the claims as misinformation. He points out that Coca-Cola has been consumed globally for over a century, including in countries like Turkey, Spain, Dubai, and even Palestine, which has its own Coca-Cola factory.


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