Coca Cola’s lawyers obviously need a holiday … to Corsica.
On a recent trip there I discovered the locals have their very own version of The Real Thing – Corsica Cola – and they haven’t been shy in using the Coke packaging as the inspiration for their own e.g. http://www.fractal-angel.org/photo/img/photo0829.jpg
At first I assumed that Coke must own or license the brand but I am reliably informed that the Pietra brewery on the island actually launched it in 2003.
So how have they managed to create something so similar to and seemingly ‘get away with it’? Of course I’m no lawyer so maybe there simply isn’t a case to answer but if there is then what could the story be?
Well what became very evident whilst travelling around was the fierce pride in being Corsican. Road signs are presented in both French and the local Corse language but the French version is almost always painted (or sometimes shot!) out. Advertising celebrates a ‘made in Corsica’ sentiment. And restaurants delight in serving up all manner of traditional and very local delights.
So one theory has to be that a judgement call has been made at Coke HQ that the newspaper headlines created by tackling Pietra in the courts would do the brand more harm than good on this very proud island.
Maybe. Maybe not. Either way one final question remains.
Does Corsica Cola taste like The Real Thing?
Simply, no! Though certain other brands sold by the Pietra brewery do come recommended.
Richard Mabbott, Group Head of Planning at London marketing agency, gyro