The Coca-Cola Company has put on a happy face for the North American public by pledging to help protect the iconic polar bear while, at the same time, continuing to be one of the worst environmentally destructive corporations in the underdeveloped world.
Pointing out on its website that the rapid loss of sea ice in the Arctic threatens the future of the polar bear, Coke says it is extending its financial support for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) with $2-million over five years toward conservation efforts.
In addition, Coke will match up to $1 million USD of consumer donations in Canada and the US made until March 15, 2012.
|New Coke Cans featuring|
the iconic polar bear
At the same time, the company is spending millions on TV advertising and has even changed the appearance of its Coke cans by displaying polar bears on them so it can get a big boost in sales for being such a great corporate citizen. Since advertising is a business expense, the cost of the ads is a tax deduction for Coke, and the company will receive an additional tax break –– for its contribution to the WWF -- both courtesy of the Canadian public.
There is no denying that the polar bear project is very important, and was warmly welcomed by The Thompson Citizen.
However, this project raises two important questions:
- Should Coke be allowed to get away with the hypocrisy of exploiting an emotional campaign to help save polar bears while, at the same time, depleting water resources, exploiting workers in developing countries, and telling us that it is “fun” to drink its sugar-laden products?
- Secondly, should the World Wildlife Fund Canada be taking money from a corporation that destroys the environment and wildlife in other parts of the world?