Coca-Cola apologizes after 'You retard' printed on Vitamin Water cap

10:53 PM, Sep 20, 2013   |    comments
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By David Ham

TACOMA, Wash. (KIRO/CNN) - One father is shocked after his daughter opened a Vitamin Water and found an offensive message on the cap.

Now, Coca-Cola, the manufacturer, is apologizing.

Doug Loates thought, what were the chances that his daughter in Canada would find this word in a cap of Vitamin Water?

"Opened it up and found 'You retard' written on the inside of the lid," said Doug.

She texted her dad in Tacoma the picture.

"I said, 'You've got to be kidding,'" he said.

Because Doug doesn't use that word.

"The r word is not in our lexicon in our family. We don't allow it. I talk to people when I hear them say it. Because I've got a personal connection to kids with disabilities," he said.

Doug's other daughter, 11-year-old Fiona, is living with cerebral palsy and autism.

Coca-Cola said the words printed under the caps were part of a promotional campaign in Canada, where a random English word was matched with a random French word. In French, the word retard translates to late or delayed.

"Not everybody in Canada speaks French. I don't speak French. I'm from Canada, but I don't speak French," said Doug.

Doug said an executive from Coca-Cola called to personally apologize, and promised to investigate the matter. A spokesperson e-mailed KIRO-TV and said, "This was a genuine mistake in the review process and we sincerely apologize."

"The battle is against the word not against Coke," said Doug.

Since Doug's letter was posted on Facebook, it's been shared and commented on hundreds of times.

"Numerous people on Facebook have said, 'I use that word all the time and now that I can put a face, Fiona's face, I won't use it anymore,'" he said.

By helping some people lose this word in their vocabulary.


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