RIGA - We all know that multinational corporations often get away with crimes in foreign states that they wouldn't dare commit at home, especially in small countries. It's easy to ignore traffic rules when you're a fifteen-ton truck. But I'd like to point out a recent scam by Coca-Cola that particularly disappointed me. During the Christmas season they had a promotional campaign whereby you could turn in six tops from their half-liter plastic bottles and receive some sort of fluffy toy in return.
Alas, after collecting 12, my wife and I took our son to the nearest Maxima to claim his prizes. No go. They had run out. We went to another Maxima, and got the same story. After deciding not to waste any more gas, we called around EVERY LAST DISTRIBUTION POINT and were shocked to learn that there were simply no more free toys left. "More are being brought in," we were told. And this was two weeks before Christmas.
I salute the Atlanta, Georgia company for offering a good product that you can get almost anywhere in the world, but in any civilized country the Coca-Cola corporation would've been fined for false advertisement after what it pulled off last month in Latvia. The company knew exactly how many bottle tops were distributed and how many toys it should have on hand. It wasn't like this was the first such promotion it ever ran.
I know the consumer advocate authorities have their hands full with the abundance of charlatans running around Latvia, but I hope they'll take a closer look at Cola-Cola come next December.