Qibla Cola forced to amend ads

Qibla Cola, the anti -American cola brand, has been forced to amend its marketing strategy and communications following the intervention of Trading Standards.

The Derby-based drinks brand, launched last year on the crest of anti-US sentiment, initially marketed and packaged its products with a claim that it offered “ten per cent to charity”.

A spokesman for Derby City Council Trading Standards says: “The original blurb on the label said ten per cent to world causes. We questioned ten per cent of what, as it wasn’t clear.” Qibla Cola was told to clarify the label to read ten per cent of profits.

Islamic Aid, one of the charities named as a beneficiary, terminated its relationship with Qibla after not receiving any money from the drinks company.

The company has yet to make a profit, but does list a series of charitable donations on its website. Qibla director and chief communications officer Abid Hussain says: “There has been a misunderstanding. The media coverage has raised expectations, but we don’t have millions.

“We continue to pledge ten per cent to charity and have clarified it will be from profits.”

Hussain has assumed control of marketing for the drinks company after the departure of marketing manager Abdul-Hamid Ebrahim.

Qibla has also parted company with advertising agency Spirit IC, which was responsible for its launch and initial &£1.5m advertising push.

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