Controversy hits Coke 'morgue' spot

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Coca-Cola Co. said it will stop airing of controversial TV ad for its teen-targeted Coke Card promotion this week. The ad features a "dead" teen in a morgue clutching a Coke Card. Complaints were made by members of Internet support groups for parents who lost children to homicides. "Who could possibly think you could sell Coca-Cola with dead bodies?" asked Helene Remer, a mother who complained to Coca-Cola. The company said the ad, and three others from D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, St. Louis, had completed scheduled runs and denied complaints were behind the decision to stop using the spot. Phase two of the $75 million promotion starts in mid-May with three new :30s from DMB&B touting a link to MasterCard ATM cash cards. The"morgue" spot won't return but the other three ads in the initial flight will return toward the end of the summer, a spokesman said. "It was not a spot that was intended to offend anyone, and, if it did, we obviously regret it," he said.

Copyright April 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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