corporate reversals

The new Coke
The blunder: In 1985, Coca-cola introduced New Coke, a sweeter version of the tried-and-true soda that was invented almost 100 years earlier, and announced it would be discontinuing the older product. Rebellion swept the nation, with reports of customers hoarding cases of regular Coke and fans at the Houston Astrodome booing New Coke ads when they appeared on the stadium’s video screen.
Most unlikely detractor: Cuban dictator Fidel Castro chimed in, calling New Coke a sign of capitalist decadence.

The reversal: It took less than three months for the company to announce it would reintroduce regular Coke. Longstanding ABC News anchor Peter Jennings interrupted “General Hospital” to share the news with viewers. Later that year, Beverage Digest reported that Coke had increased its sales by 9% in the months after the rollout of New Coke, compared to 4% for Pepsi.(reuters)


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