Illegal flyposters embarrass Coke

Coca-Cola’s wholesome advertising image has been tarnished by its involvement in the shadowy world of flyposting.

Embarrassed Coca-Cola officials have ordered a series of illegal flyposters to be torn down within the London area. They advertise Coca-Cola’s Fruitopia brand, which is sold as a pure, “new age” drink.

The flyposters are identical to the psychedelic images in Coca-Cola’s legal poster campaign, but omit to say that Fruitopia is registered to Coca-Cola.

“As far as I can ascertain, the posters were being used at sampling venues and the campaign was extended,” says a Coca-Cola spokesman.

He says the posters will be taken down this week, and adds that he has “no idea” who took the decision to extend the campaign and hire a flyposting agency.

But Chiat/Day Fruitopia account director Dan Brooke says the decision to use a flypost ing agency was, “our idea, and McCann and Coca-Cola’s combined”.

McCann-Erickson, Coca-Cola’s media buyer, refused to comment.

IPM, the poster specialist responsible for Coca-Cola’s legal poster, bus-stop and bus shelter rooftop Fruitopia ads, denies it was involved.

Posters are illegal if they have been pasted on to buildings without the landlord’s permission, or if they are pasted at a venue where the product advertised is not being sold. Coca-Cola is understood to have started flyposting for its Fruitopia brand at sampling sites, but posters are now appearing illegally on buildings and signal boxes.

Coca-Cola is not the first major brand to be associated with flyposting. Sony Electronic Publishing (MW January 20) and Golden Wonder (MW March 3) have both used flyposting campaigns this year.

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