Coca Cola, the maker of America’s most well known sugary obesogenic drink, isn’t donating to the Republican convention as much as it has in the past. Coke and other major brands that were once-reliable contributors are facing criticism and increasingly worried about associating with Donald J. Trump and the Republican convention.
Kent Landers, a Coca-Cola spokesman, declined to explain the reduction in support. But officials at the company are trying to quietly defuse a campaign organized by the civil rights advocacy group Color of Change, which says it has collected more than 100,000 signatures on a petition demanding that Coca-Cola and other companies decline to sponsor the convention. Donating to the event, the petition states, is akin to endorsing Mr. Trump’s “hateful and racist rhetoric.”
And Trump’s lose talk suggesting that if he doesn’t get the nomination, “I think you’d have riots, I’m representing a tremendous many, many millions of people,” did nothing to calm nervous corporate sponsors worried about their brand on display at the Cleveland convention. The largely sugar-free corporations of Apple, Google and Wal-Mart are also rethinking sponsorship and may join Coke by capping their donations.
“These companies have a choice right now, a history-making choice,” said Rashad Robinson, the executive director of Color of Change. “Do they want riots brought to us by Coca-Cola?”
Coca-Cola’s 2016 donation of $75,000 will fall far short of the $660,000 they coughed up for the 2012 Republican convention. Coke’s puny $75,000 is hardly enough to cover the additional 2,000 sets of riot control suits, (including the robo-cob-style Elite Defender riot suits) the city of Cleveland wants to have on hand for the July convention. Maybe Donald J. will chip in ?
Reports are that Cleveland city water has been tested and is okay to drink. But maybe they will have some Trump brand bottled water on hand this summer for thirsty Elite Defenders because Coca Cola is making itself scarce to Republicans.