Coke warned about ad claims in Korea

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South Korea's Fair Trade Commission has warned Coca-Cola Co. about "dishonest" claims in a trade flyer to promote its Powerade Ice Blitz sports drink. The flyer was sent to shops and supermarkets and apparently fell afoul of South Korean legislation restricting certain types of comparative advertising.

The flyer claims consumers surveyed preferred Powerade Ice Blitz to Pocari Sweat, a similar sports drink made by Dong-ah Otzuka, a Japanese-Korean joint venture. The FTC says the survey of 200 people was not a representative sample, and therefore misleading. Talyor Nelson Sofres conducted the Powerade street survey, but the FTC pointed to a larger survey conducted by Korea Gallup in which Pocari Sweat won.

The government has decided not to punish Coke, however, because of its otherwise clean record in Korea.

Copyright December 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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