This is a clip produced by the guys at Quiet Library. It’s calling out Coca-Cola for blatant hypocrisy when it recently tried to identify its brand Black History Month.

Now here’s the original Coca-Cola ad. Bear in mind, I didn’t go looking for the original ad. No, I actually found it in the related videos sidebar on the page that featured the above Quiet Library clip.

In all seriousness, someone in Coke’s communications department really f**ked up when they okayed this spot. Not having a stellar record in some area of the prevailing public ethos is one thing. Trying to give consumers the impression that you somehow do is a f**king insult, and in the age of user generated content, when someone notices, they’re going to make sure that a lot of other people do to.

With their original clip featured only as a addendum to a spoof, it doesn’t surprise me that Coke has a lot to learn about the SEO of reputation management. Basically, they look like s**t on the new front page. On a Google search for either “coca cola” for for “coke”, without having to scroll down, you’ll notice that a hit for, a site dedicated to combating an apparent reign of terror that Coca-Cola holds over its South American workers.

If your skeptical as to how just how much user generated content bears on reputation management, consider this chain of events:
1) Unaware of Coca-Cola’s track record in human, workers’, or civil rights, I stumble on the Quiet Library video on YouTube because one of their other videos was featured on the YouTube.
2) Without having to search, I find the original Coke clip being parodied by Quiet Library.
3) I blog both videos, which results in links to the parody video and
4) My audience is now aware not only of how Coke could better manage its reputation online and its hypocritical record in civil liberties, but also of its grotesque human rights abuses.

Moral of the story? A little UGC can go a long way.

Still not convinced? Then ask Mitch Joel about the Kryptonite Bike Locks Scandal. You probably trust/like him more, so maybe he can get through to you.

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