Coca-Cola hit by college votes for ethical boycott
LONDON - A growing number of UK universities have voted to stop the sale of Coca-Cola's products on their campuses.
The escalating boycott represents a serious dent to the brand's UK reputation on the back of allegations of human rights abuses and leaves a question mark over the £15m distribution deal it signed with NUS Services (NUSSL) in March.
The University of Sussex last week banned Coca-Cola products. Instead, it intends to stock a variety of 'ethical' alternatives including Virgin Cola. The University of East Anglia has also decided only to stock alternatives.
The University of London has launched a voluntary boycott of Coca-Cola products, though campaigners are pushing for a total ban. Oxford University, which is not a member of NUSSL, has already introduced a boycott.
The bans will be a blow to the soft-drinks giant, which had hoped to avoid a repeat of US university boycotts.
A spokeswoman for NUSSL said that although some universities had opted to stop marketing Coca-Cola on campuses, the boycott has yet to affect NUS bars.
A spokesman for Coca-Cola said: 'We are aware that individual colleges may vote to stop selling our products and we respect [their] right to take their own decisions.'
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This article was first published on marketingmagazine.co.uk
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