Coke stumbles in blogosphere

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Coke Zero. It's the new sugar-free product from Coca-Cola, and its teaser campaign has used a number of alternative/emerging forms of media to spread its message. From unbranded billboards to the spray painting of footpaths with statements such as "why can't big nights come with zero morning afters?" and a Zero Movement Web site the campaign is a distinct departure from the usual Coke formula.

The result? It appears to have provoked a backlash amongst Internet users for its perceived hijacking of the Weblog/community space.

One of the most [contentious] aspects of the teaser campaign is the formation of a so-called action group called the "Zero Movement." Complete with blog and manifesto. The site has prompted a strong backlash from the blogging community, who have branded it an unwelcome intrusion that is "dishonest."

In a typical ad-busters style, a group of users have formed another zero movement, exposing the Coke zero movement as nothing more than "a bunch of advertising wankers pretending to be a grass-roots movement." The group has hijacked the .org domain for the renegade zero movement (let this be a lesson to advertisers who fail to secure multiple domains) and used it to promote "real" causes, as well as using it as an opportunity to highlight some of the other Coke sites out there, including Killer Coke.

The blacklash has even earned the renegade Zero Movement Web site a listing on the ever popular Wikipedia Coke Zero Entry.

--"Coke Zero backlash mounting online", Jan.18

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