Talk:New Coke

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Former good article New Coke was one of the Sports and recreation good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
September 7, 2006 Good article nominee Listed
February 3, 2008 Good article reassessment Delisted
Current status: Delisted good article
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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for New Coke:

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
  • Article requests :' Research business/trade press articles on New Coke during and after 1985. Partly done; needs to be added to article later.

    Find missing citations.

    Create or find graphic of Old Cola Drinkers of America logo (New Coke bottle with circle and slash). Perhaps find a contemporary editorial cartoon if fair use can be justified. (Partially done)

  • Cleanup : Re-write entire article in appropriate formal style
  • Expand : Find sources for sales figures after Classic Coke reintroduction, and change to Coca-Cola II

Bringing it back[edit]

Resolved: Not a Wikipedia matter.

Is there anywhere with a petition to bring back Coke II? I loved it, and I like it better than classic. Classic is too acidic for me. --Splent 01:14, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

This isn't a webboard or chat forum. If there is reliably sourceable information about such a petition, someone can add a mention of it to the article, but WP is not a platform for advocacy, of anything. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 13:32, 4 December 2008 (UTC)


It says that Coca-Cola cans still carry "Classic" on them - I have never seen this in the UK.

Probably a US thing. Article should say so (with sources). — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 13:32, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

New Coke was never launched in the UK, so therefore there was no need for the 'Classic' rebrand. (talk) 14:27, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

I've seen it relatively recently on cans unofficially imported to the UK from the more eastern parts of Europe. It tasted different to the regular stuff too but that may be down to Coke's "local preference" blending. danno 23:30, 26 August 2011 (UTC)


The article mentions changing the source of glycerine from animal to vegetable sources. When the original formula was reintroduced did the source of glycerine change back or remain vegetable based? BartBart (talk) 11:25, 14 January 2009 (UTC)


Does anyone know if and where Coke II is available?Jon Revelle 07:52, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

Coke II was apparently still being sold in certain parts of Chicago as late as 2001, but now seems to have completely disappeared. (Search the BevBoard at for more info) - 16:03, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
It appears that Coke II may still be being sold. Can anyone confirm this? Rmhermen 00:01, Jan 6, 2004 (UTC)
I was actually arguing with my brother about this. He said he recently had New Coke, but I told him that New Coke hasn't been available since before he was born. Coca-Cola's web site doesn't have any information about a New Coke or Coke II.
--cprompt 01:15, 6 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I called coca cola probably back in 1999 and the person said they still sold it in the northeastern USA

thanks for adding the pictures of the different cans of coke 2

I last saw Coca-Cola II for sale in supermarkets in Buffalo in summer 1993. I have seen it nowhere since. Daniel Case 4 July 2005 04:19 (UTC)
I live in Northeast Wisconsin, and last I saw it was around 1996 or 1997. It's weird though... this grocery store near me still carries C2, and also carries Tab... it was also the last time I saw Coke II. --Splent 01:14, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
The link to Coke's official story on this (you know, the one that refers to their "chief competitor" without using its name) says at the very bottom that Coca-Cola II is no longer available in the US. Might it be available abroad somewhere? Daniel Case 4 July 2005 04:23 (UTC)
The article should (with sources) cover the availability dates. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 13:32, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Removed comment[edit]

I removed: this article needs dates - when the new product was withdrawn. from the article. --cprompt 23:41, 5 Jan 2004 (UTC)

PR stunt?[edit]

Unresolved: PR stunt theory not fully accounted for in article.

I have heard that the Coke --> New Coke --> Coke Classic was a massive stunt designed to conceal the switch from sugar to the much cheaper, slightly less tasty corn syrup. Anyone know the truth of this?

Nothing at, and they've got everything! Although, there's some interesting stuff about Coca-Cola in there.
--cprompt 21:54, 10 Feb 2004 (UTC)
See Conspiracy theory. Philwelch 03:38, 8 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Conspiracy theories require a conspiracy. A single company pulling a PR stunt does not qualify, since there isn't anyone to conspire with. A vast number of people are convinced that the "New Coke" fiasco was nothing but a PR stunt, and the article should (sourcedly) cover this angle. It presently barely touches on it, and that is a major disservice to our readers who are looking for facts, not Coca-Cola Corp.'s party line. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 13:32, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
Since 2004, Snopes has written an article dealing with this theory, which is discounted: Snopes. -Phoenixrod (talk) 19:24, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Nothing Snopes has can change the fact that "Coke Classic" does not resemble the "original formula" in any way, because the source of sweetener is completely different. High Fructose Corn Syrup is not Cane Sugar, and hence the opening paragraph stating "The subsequent reintroduction of Coke's original formula" is patently false and misleading. (talk) 23:54, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
Until you can introduce a source saying this, the line stays. Coke says it restored the original formula, meaning the elements that provided the taste; even beforehand bottlers the world over were allowed to vary the sweetener. I believe some allegations about this are, or were, in the article (most of the above comments predate my expansion of it years ago). Daniel Case (talk) 01:24, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
Much more likely a "classic" marketing blunder. They are lucky they didn't lose significant market share. Kortoso (talk) 17:27, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

International markets[edit]

The article says that New Coke was never released outside the United States. I live in Brazil and there was never any media campaign about changes in Coca-Cola's taste. However, when I was in the USA in the 90's, I found the taste of Coke Classic somewhat "different", and reminded me of my early childhood's Coke (before 1980). After that I have read elsewhere that New Coke had been silently introduced in foreign markets, where it faced little opposition. Unfortunately I could not find any further reference about that. But even if the New Coke "as such" wasn't introduced worldwide, there may have been at least some changes in the formula. By the way, European Coke taste just like the Brazilian. Rsnetto74 (talk) 21:52, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

A minor mess[edit]

This article is in a bit of a state. Information shouldn't be presented in one-line paragraphs, and I believe the article should be rearranged so that the facts appear more chronologically. Hopefully someone with more energy than I could attack this. mat_x 18:44, 20 Oct 2004 (UTC)

ok; took a crack at it. Bbpen 20:08, 20 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Some of the information given in the article, most notably that Coke's marketing department never asked drinkers how they would feel if the new Coke replaced the old one, is contradicted in the Michael Bastedo Angela Davis article (Snopes got it wrong there). I am undertaking to correct this, as well as organize the article better. Daniel Case 6 July 2005 05:01 (UTC)

=Should the title be changed?[edit]

if it is now Coke II should the article be moved? I know most people would probably still call it New Coke but apparently that name has not been used for 15 yearsSmith03 16:00, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)


I heard somehwere that New Coke actually got better ratings in taste tests than Coca-Cola Classic did, which was why the company did the switch. Can anyone confirm this? And if this is true, should it be put in the article? Mred64 03:32, Jun 20, 2005 (UTC)

True. Their website (linked at the bottom of the article) gave a figure of 200,000 people in the taste tests who prefered New Coke to old. - Lifefeed 13:46, Jun 20, 2005 (UTC)
Yes it did, this was widely reported at the time. And I can confirm that I started drinking soda in the first place at the age of 17 because of New Coke. I may be the only one, but I was one. I still think it tasted better than either Classic Coke or Pepsi did at the time.-Daniel Case 4 July 2005 04:18 (UTC)

Reads too much like prose[edit]

This seems to read much too much like prose instead of encyclopedic style. I love it, but I don't know if it is really correct format for Wikipedia. Nick Catalano (Talk) 05:54, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

Well, it is a story where one event follows another. I've seen similar narrative styles elsewhere on Wikipedia, and not just in book summaries. There's plenty of information conveyed and I felt it was necessary that the decision to change the formula and then back again be understood in detail as there are some common misperceptions about it.Daniel Case 14:08, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

It's a very nice rewrite, and does a seamless job of adding to the information that was already there. It does have a bit of a prosey flavor, but this will no doubt fade a little as others add to it. I just hope the readability can stay as high as it is. ProhibitOnions

Why, thank you. Daniel Case 23:55, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Might it be nice to have (ahem) pop culture references? I remember there was a Futurama episode...

Sure. Can you give some exact information as to which espisode and what exactly it was? Daniel Case 16:58, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
Wow. This article reads like some epic tale, not an encyclopedia. It makes for a fun read, but it hurts the validity and professionalism of the article, and Wikipedia. I'm not sure if I should tag it for cleanup, nevertheless, I will remove some sentences like (and I quote)
"Perhaps, management thought, this might be the answer."
There are a few more instances writing what the people "believed" "thought" etc, which, if not paraphrased, may be libel. It's assuming what the people at Coca-Cola were thinking, which violates POV. Maybe I'm wrong on editing some of this, but the way I see it, you can't write an article and assume so many things in order to add flair to the article. Someone help me on this.--Ikiroid 01:33, 28 December 2005 (UTC)(my discussion page)

Since when is there a "correct format for Wikipedia?" It's readable and enjoyable, which makes the information more accessible. proscriptus —Preceding comment was added at 15:37, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

The correct format for Wikipedia is encyclopedic. This reads like it was written by a Coca-Cola employee instructed to defend New Coke/Coke II at all costs. (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 08:51, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Really? When it includes a great deal of sourced material that's critical of how the company handled the situation? Daniel Case (talk) 09:14, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
I took a crack at making the first section more Wikipedic. Also, I removed a lot of extraneous information (the stuff about Columbia Pictures, etc.) Bourne (talk) 22:16, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Still needs work; witness its cleanup-tagging and its de-GAing. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 13:32, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Quite simply it doesn't read like a story. The Wikipedia police need to recognise that this is not the 1768 edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica and that it's possible to write entries in different styles, without having tedious reminders placed at the head of an article. Fair enough claims need to be verified, but all the nonsense about 'weasel words' is applied too liberally.. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Marcvanderloo (talkcontribs) 22:57, 5 September 2009 (UTC)


The section on Malcolm Gladwell's flawed-taste-test theory sounds to me like it was copied directly from the book. I don't have the book on hand at the moment; could someone check this? Urocyon 21:38, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

Never mind; I checked and it wasn't. The use of the unusual word "cloying" triggered a false alarm. Urocyon 21:57, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

Tag change[edit]

I'm changing the cleanup tag to "Innapropriate Tone," since that's what most of the discrepency is all about.--ikiroid | (talk) 21:24, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

What research?[edit]

At many points this article makes reference to research without citing it. For example, the section on the Pepsi / Frito Lay merger cites no market data. Such things should be deleted if they are not sourced. Tomyumgoong 08:48, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

I see your edit to the Taste Test section. I tend to agree but when I first read the article a few days ago I did find the now-deleted information interesting (I made a wiktionary link to "cloying", a word I didn't know) and hate to lose it. I went looking for a Taste test page but couldn't find anything. The closest I found was Sensory analysis which is less than a stub. Ewlyahoocom 09:21, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
I suspect the information there was from the book mentioned in that section. If it is to be replaced, it should be done in terms that make this clear. It is no better than the opinion of the book's author, and should not be presented as conclusive fact regarding the nature of taste testing and the reasons for the results in the New Coke focus groups. Tomyumgoong 09:55, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
I had the chance to read Blink today and have readded the appropriate material (which is actually fascinating) in a way that, at least in the taste-test section, makes it clear what aspect of it is opinion and commentary from the book.
It should really be cited as a reference. Daniel Case 05:24, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
This book is not accepted or published as primary research. As such if you wish to make claims from it with any phrasing other than "this book alleges" you must source the exact researchers he spoke to, and which studies support your claims (for example, about 7 Up). Otherwise you are engaging in heresay of what Wikipedia considers Original research and these comments will still qualify for deletion. Tomyumgoong 08:49, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
Fine. I will provide footnotes and page numbers as soon as I get them again. Daniel Case 17:56, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
And please remember to assume good faith. There is in your comments the suggestion that this is fabricated, and I resent that. Daniel Case 17:59, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
Page numbers from the book only support the claim that "the book states" these things. Citations of primary research could at least merit their inclusion as "this study documents." I do not think you are fabricating, but rather that the book provides a biased and incomplete survey of the taste testing literature. With full citations, a more thorough discussion is possible. There really is no such thing as good faith, there are sourced claims and unsourced ones. Tomyumgoong 10:25, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
I've begun, and am revising the phrasing in the article to make clearer what Gladwell says and who his sources were. Also I have added his cited sources to the references section. I am not yet finished, though ... I will need to copy the pages of the book out that discuss this to get the exact page numbers. Daniel Case 19:17, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

If Gladwell is the only person who agrees with Gladwell this text is meaningless. You can just note that there is a book criticising the taste tests. Also the use of the word "importantly" needs to improve. The presentation of the issues discussed in this book is not NPOV. Tomyumgoong 22:08, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

Moreover, as he is not a scientist, if you cannot locate which researchers he asked and where their results have been published, the whole charade does not really merit inclusion. Tomyumgoong 22:11, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
Do you just post these officious comments, or do you even bother to read the footnotes I put in? That was meant to answer your concerns. Daniel Case 01:29, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Does the author of the text you reference really claim to have spoken to researchers and present the results of studies without mentioning which researchers or what studies? Tomyumgoong 18:12, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Yes, he names the people he talked to. Unfortunately, someone took the copy I had been using as a reference out of the library. I was going to put in more exact citations (what's there currently is from Gladwell's bibliography for the chapter). Daniel Case 20:03, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
Can we expect more adequate citations soon? Knowing which studies he references might enable a more complete discussion of the taste test issue. Tomyumgoong 01:43, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
They're the ones already mentioned as references where I couldn't match them up precisely with what's already in there. The book is checked out through Wednesday so I will see where I can find another copy. Daniel Case 02:35, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
OK, I have put attributed quotes from the book in the article and done the footnotes as exactly as I possibly can. Daniel Case 18:14, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

I switched to RC during the New Coke period and I liked RC better than New Coke. I didn't like the new version as well as the older version from the beginning. I think the article makes it sound like New Coke was solely a victim to bad press and a fear of change with naysayers only being on some kind of principle rather than taste. This is true in most cases, but not all. As an example of that a link from a 1985 Time article discusses a mostly negative reaction to New Coke, but it's only being used because it has a statement like "Coca Cola industry says sells are up."--T. Anthony 04:13, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

That's what the research I did has been showing (even you admit it was "true in most cases") and which squares with the way I remember things. Part of the reason we write encylopedia articles, and do research, is to correct what everyone thinks is or was true but actually isn't. Google around and you'll find a lot of myths about New Coke: that nobody liked it, that sales went way down, that all the executives involved got fired, that the company's stock dropped, that it was introduced with the Max Headroom ads ... none of which are true, as anyone can find out by doing the research. Wikipedia, like any encyclopedia, should tell you the truth, not reinforce the myth.
The article discusses some of higher-profile negative reactions to New Coke (the Astrodome scoreboard, Gay Mullins's group). But people remember the more visible things from that time period, not the facts that were quietly recorded and are still there. The media reported the negative reactions, but never tried to find people who actually liked the drink ... most of whom, as the focus-group research showed and the anecdote Keough reported suggested, kept quiet because they didn't want to start arguments with people who didn't like it. Daniel Case 05:50, 9 August 2006 (UTC)


These are still a mess, and need to be cleaned up. Also, Gladwell's book should not be referenced in place of the studies he claims to report. Only primary research merits the statement of these things directly. Tomyumgoong 21:27, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Glad to see you finally found this article important enough to drop by again. Glad we're "getting closer."
The reason I have these cited to Gladwell is that, other than what he's referred to in his bibliography, there are no other sources. Market research people generally do studies such as the 7UP one for private clients, not journals; thus other than what they may share with the public there is nothing to report. I believe that going on the record, for attribution, to a reputable journalist who writes for the New Yorker and then republishes it in a book by a reputable publisher is as close as we're going to get and counts as a reliable source.
We have to decide how scientific we're going to be here. This article (which I have begun to have delusions about getting up to featured status ... somebody shoot me, please :-)), if it's going to be done as a bang-up job, will draw its main facts from work by business writers (like Gladwell, I would say, even though he didn't really start out to be one), who often are the only people to report the results of a company's internal market research and such.
A key part of the New Coke narrative, as it's shaping up to me, is that Coke was so convinced that taste and taste alone was what drove Pepsi's success that they forgot the impact of the brand. One of the key pieces of evidence for that is that when the Pepsi Challenge was done unblind (i.e., when tasters knew they were sampling Coke or Pepsi), Coke won.
Now, the only place you're going to find this AFAIK is the Robert Oliver history of Coke, The Real Thing. Since he doesn't republish the entire original study, word for word, chart for chart, datum for datum, would that count as a reliable source under this standard?
I'll take a look at some similar articles (similar in that they rely on books by business writers) and see how this is treated there. Daniel Case 00:14, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
As an outsider here, I've just read this discussion, and have a comment on the statement "Gladwell's book should not be referenced in place of the studies he claims to report." Wiki policy is totally dependent on references. Is someone can find a reference for something, then it is perfectly legitimate (in Wiki terms) to state that thing and give the reference as to where it was obtained from. Someone else might think, or even know, that the information is not true, but that would not be a legitimate stance as it would be POV (a point of view).
The only way it would be legitimate in Wiki to refute the statement would be to find somewhere that it was refuted, to quote that refutation and to give the reference. Then both things would stand in the article 1) the original info 2) the info from the source that had refuted it. This is NPOV (neutral point of view), i.e. our job is to report what other people are saying across the spectrum and not to decide ourselves which of it is true and which isn't. That is up to the reader of Wiki to decide.
I'm not saying this is the perfect way to arrive at the truth, but it is a policy tht allows differences to be settled. I reached this article via a situation with the Jennifer Fitzgerald one. Bush may or may not have had an affair with her - that is not up to the Wiki editor to decide. It is the editor's job to report that certain newspaper articles said he did—and also to report that he denied this. I hope this is of some help.
Tyrenius 05:16, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Brain tumours[edit]

I have removed the following, as it is such a serious charge that it cannot be allowed to stand without substantiation:

New coke caused many people to develop brain tumors. [citation needed]

Tyrenius 12:05, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. In fact, it is so off-base that I consider it vandalism. if the user who put in (their first and only edit) puts it back in I will begin the usual parade of warnings. Daniel Case 15:26, 26 April 2006 (UTC)


I have finally gotten to sit down and read the Hays, Oliver and Prendergast books so I can finally add some good stuff (and references to support it) into the article. Hopefully I will be done with it this weekend. Daniel Case 05:24, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

I found images of othe new coke (american can) here. --larsinio (poke)(prod) 18:52, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Intriguing. I don't think this guy realizes that what he drank is actually older ... vintage 1985 New Coke. The "NEW!" stripe was discontinued as soon as Classic Coke came out.
An apparent can of regular Coke from 1985-92 would also count. Daniel Case 02:00, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

On hold![edit]

Hello, everyone. I'm giving you a reprieve by putting this article on hold for a week instead of failing it outright, because I really believe that you can make this into a GA.

The basic problem is this: the style of writing is prosaic, not encyclopedic. It reads like it should be entitled "The Saga of New Coke," not "New Coke (from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)."I absolutely love it, but it isn't really right for Wikipedia.

If someone or everyone puts a lot of work into this article, it can be a GA by the time the week is over. I'm giving you seven days, and that's a lot of time, so you'd better get going! Or else I WILL fail you the next time around XD. (I'm serious.) Eilicea 14:59, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

I don't know, I'm inclined to pass it right now. It seems to meet all of the criteria to me, and what you are saying sounds like a very minor quibble and not evidence that it fails the criteria. - Mike 02:28, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree. I'm passing it. This is one of the best GA noms I've ever seen. Kafziel 19:42, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
Hooray!! Bwithh 21:49, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Subliminal Messages?[edit]

Does anyone know who wrote this article? Because after reading it, i was absolutely craving a coke. It kind of scared me. *bj* 05:28, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

It's me (see box above). I have greatly expanded it from what it was back in July 2005.
If it made you want to have one, well alright then. It's what we call vivid prose. Daniel Case 13:49, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

Good article, really?[edit]

This article fails to do what it is supposed to do. We should at least understand why the new Coke has failed to stay on the market. According to this article, the new Coke was well liked, and had good sells. Only a minority was opposed to the introduction of this new Coke, we are told. Well, if the new Coke were selling so good, why was it taken off the market, then?

In fact, all the sources that make the point about the new Coke success even during the turmoil set by the "vocal minority" come from one book: Oliver, Thomas; The Real Coke, The Real Story, Penguin. In fact, there is so many references to this book that it seems that the whole article is a summary of this book. Could it not be wrong? Who is this Mr.Oliver?Marcus wilby73 06:02, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

I think it's pretty clear (as it was at the time) that it was becoming a PR disaster for Coke, plus triggering a revolt by some already-antsy bottlers. The research I did seemed to establish that the oft-repeated claim that it tasted horrible and nobody liked it is just not borne out by the facts in evidence. That is what encyclopedia articles are supposed to do. If you look at other sources online for this you'll see a great deal of misinformation that is not in this article.
New Coke was not "taken off the market". Old Coke was brought back to it.
Tom Oliver is/was a longtime Atlanta Constitution-Journal reporter who covered the company, and was in fact writing his book during the whole thing. While some people considered him overly sympathetic to the company, in fact many of its executives were refusing to speak to him during the 77 days.
Whether a reputable source document (in this case one of three published histories of Coca-Cola, written by a journalist for a major newspaper) is wrong is not for Wikipedia to judge. None of the other two histories cited contradicted it in any serious way. Daniel Case 06:14, 13 October 2006 (UTC)
Daniel, I entirely agree that we should stick to the evidence. But I think you will acknowledge too that this encyclopedia has to be aware of the spins people want to taint the facts with.
That said, I don't think you address my point. I concur with you that "the oft-repeated claim that it tasted horrible and nobody liked it is just not borne out by the facts in evidence". The article makes this point, and I am all fine with the latter.
But it seems to me that the "story" the article wants to tell is not plausible. According to the article, the New Coke started great, then the "New Coke continued to do well in the rest of the country" despite all the PR turmoil, at least in April and May. Later, in June, the sales were "leveling". So we get the story that the marketing and the selling were going good, and that only a vocal minority did not accept the idea that the old Coke was taken out of the market. In reaction, Coca-Cola decides to "re-issue" the old Coke. Up to this point, we are lead to believe that 1) a majority prefered the New coke to the old coke 2) sells of the new Coke were going relatively good, despite a poor June; 3)a minority of customers will stick to the Old Coke.
Yet, by the end of the year, sellings of the Old Coke surpassed thoses of the New Coke, and in fact, the sells of the New Coke went as low as 3% market share.
My point is that there is a gap between the last two paragraphs I have summarized here, which is not fulfilled by the article. There is no fact presented in the article which explains why the sellings went from "great" to as low as 3% of market share within six months. The peer pressure hypothesis and the "attachment" hypothesis are potential explanations, but are not supported by facts. Confronted with this absence of facts, I make the claim that we are left with an absence of understanding, which needs to be fulfilled in the article, and that the layman hypothesis that the old Coke tasted better than the new Coke should, after all, have the same plausibility as the former explanations. Furthermore, the explanations given in the "Aftermath" section are highly unsatisfactory, in my opinion, to fulfill this "understanding gap", and looks more like spinning done by the Coca-Cola people.Marcus wilby73 22:02, 13 October 2006 (UTC)
While I am happy that it has received GA status, and think it fully deserved, I have never claimed this article is perfect (which GAs do not have to be). There is a lot of research I'd like to do. But what I have done points to the scenario you describe: New Coke (which was Coke for 77 days) sold well, as many people continued to buy it due to either the lack of Old Coke as an alternative or because they'd made their peace with the new formula. Once the old formula became available again, they went back to it. I was alive at the time and that is what I remember happening (Coke also was stuck without a plan to market what suddenly became regular non-classic Coke, as the article makes clear, and if you can't or aren't going to tell people why they should buy something with a minimal difference from other products in the same line, they're usually not going to buy it).
Again, this article needs more research than I can do online. Many of the published histories sort of wrap things up in early July 1985. I need to look at newspaper reporting from that time period, I need to look at stuff from afterwards, I'd like to look at articles from the beverage-industry trade press. I believe more research would be pertinent to the issues you raise.
At the time of this switch, all that you can really find in the media is speculation. Perhaps I should take some of the stuff from the Gladwell book that makes the point about how packaging influences perception and move it further up.
Some of what's out there (and in the article) suggests that there was a regional gap; most of the sources I've consulted so far point to the south/rest of US disparity. The fact that New Coke survived as Coca-Cola II in the midwest until almost 2000 or so, and still sells in some overseas areas, without any real marketing and with an apparent stigma to overcdome does tend to suggest that Coke's research was right.
If can verify the book quoted on this web page, and find the 'Wall Street Journal article mentioned in it, it might be a good thing to include too as far as explaining the move back to old Coke. Daniel Case 22:56, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

I have decided to add a to-do box for here with some of these tasks in it if anyone else is interested in sharing the load. Daniel Case 04:28, 15 October 2006 (UTC)


Ooh, I didn't realise that this was the article I tagged as cleanup! I think I meant to tag another. Sigh, the perils of tabbing in Epiphany. OK, I read the article and it's actually quite good. Just these:

  • Heading titles should be fixed. I'm not very good at that.
  • Citations! There are zillions of {{fact}}s all over the joint.

That's about all I can fault with it. Sorry for incorrectly tagging it! Now to find a real victim of an article...MUAHAHA! — JeremyTalk 01:44, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Serious concerns about the neutrality of this[edit]

This is the most biased piece I think I've ever read on Wikipedia on a topic outside of politics. It reads very much like it was written by the Coca-Cola marketing department or by someone who's otherwise an apologist for the company. Just for the record, by the way, I enjoy Coca-Cola very much and I certainly don't have an axe to grind with the company. However, let me point out some examples of the things that make me feel this article is seriously biased.

Your objection is extremely uninformed. Since you have refused to even sign it, I have restored the GA tag because you didn't even go over to WP:GA and delist it there as procedure required.
Also, remember. Anons are not allowed to promote GAs. I don't know if they are allowed to delist them, either. I don't think they should be. The most you could do was request review.

First of all, the author


dismisses the possibility that New Coke failed because people just didn't like the taste,

I did. And I still do. Wanna make something of it?
If they didn't like the taste, why did it beat Pepsi's ass in all the blind taste tests. No one disputes that aspect of the story.

suggesting (without references to back up the claim)

Obviously you didn't read the whole article; just zapped over here to shoot your keayboard off. There are, among the fifty footnotes currently in it, several dealing with how sales were not, at first, adversely affected by the change. And how the people who hated it were, indeed, the minority in a numerical sense although they were quite vocal about it ... just as they had been in the focus groups.

that it failed due to a "vocal minority" who "resented the change" for nostalgic / psychological reasons and this vocal minority somehow managed to convince the rest of the planet to shun New Coke.

First, this was a common theme in no less than three different histories of Coca-Cola, all of which I read when I was actually doing research for this article.
The vocal minority didn't convince the planet to shun New Coke ... it remained on the market in the USA as a whole for several years, and in parts of the US for even longer afterwards. Without any serious marketing.
Coke, and more importantly the bottlers who were suing it at the time, convinced itself to shun New Coke.

All I can say is that either the author is a mouthpiece for the Coca-Cola company or he never actually tasted New Coke himself. I did taste it, though, and I can definitely understand why it flopped.

I did taste it. And it got me drinking soda when I never had before.
This implies a bias too. It might be best to have someone who doesn't drink Coke or New Coke deal with this.--T. Anthony 06:42, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Also, the author admits that the New Coke formula "is still widely perceived as a misstep" but then goes on to say (again, with nothing but his opinion to back it up) that "it ultimately wasn't" (a misstep). I hardly even know where to start with this one. Ok, how about this: a "misstep"?!? How about about "unmitigated disaster"? Yeah, pal, regardless of what you think or would have people believe, it was a "misstep" and then some. There's a reason that it has become to product tinkering what Enron is to corporate corruption. Second, if it were true as the author claims that more people liked New Coke than like the original formula, why is it that today New Coke can only be purchased in American Samoa and Yap?!? Oh, right, the vocal minority thing again. They not only insisted that the original formula be brought back but that New Coke be banished forever from the entire planet. We're coming for you next, American Samoa and Yap, so enjoy it while you can!

Please be civil. Namecalling isn't reasonable argument.
I am truly sorry if the actual recorded history as researched by me does not accord with your memories of that time period. Your counterargument above would be, were it to be introduced into the article, immediately deleted as original research since it's so clearly nothing more than subjective recollection without any verifiable facts to back it up.
You are by your own admission starting from a bias. I would be as well, but I don't think I've ever edited this article. In addition the research of one man based largely on one or two books is not going to be persuasive to everyone. You need to be open to criticism as Wikipedia articles aren't any single individuals project. (Sometimes I wish they were so I'm not entirely unsympathetic) On the taste-tests there are various factors that may not make them valid. For example "Were they conducted primarily on soda drinkers?" You state you were not a soda drinker and liked New Coke. As I recall the article further indicates the company was wanting new customers. "Regional issues." You even seem open to the idea that Southerners, I'd lived in the South the majority of my life when New Coke arrived, did not like the new taste. Possibly they were accustomed to, even liked, a less sweet and more acidic kind of taste. In the American Midwest Pepsi is more popular so a Pepsi-like drink, which New Coke was, had more appeal. There's other issues too.--T. Anthony 06:42, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
Okay I guess they did test cola drinkers. However "100 randomly selected cola drinkers, the majority of whom indicated a preference for Pepsi" and they preferred New Coke to Pepsi. This doesn't really indicate what Coke or RC drinkers would prefer. The people who "leaned Coke" in the first place could've been turned off, while the Pepsi drinkers thought "it's still some form of Coke and that's not for me." Granted that's opinion. A more genuine concern is that several of the footnotes are to links that no longer work. I'm not sure how to fix or replace them though.--T. Anthony 06:58, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
Could you tell me which ones? The taste test you're referring to was an independent, informal one conducted by The Wall Street Journal two years after New Coke was introduced (read carefully). I have yet to find the original article and I can only go with the excerpt someone posted.
The links issue is more pertinent. I posted much of this late at night when I was sleepy. Anyway footnotes 17 and 18 no longer seem to work. I thought there was a third one not working, but I'm not finding it now. Sorry for any snottiness and have a pleasant day. (Note I know some hate posting within a post, but this seemed to be a separate issue to the paragraph below and also you do it.)--T. Anthony 19:00, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
I fixed link 17 (although the formatting at the Soda Pop Dreams site is their problem. I get "connection refused" for link 18. Daniel Case 20:58, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
As for the taste tests, since Coke didn't publish the results (food/drink companies usually don't), all we have to go on is what gets reported by third parties. I would assume they tested it on cola drinkers, much in the same way you'd test a movie on people who go see movies. But I don't know the specific details, and I don't think anyone else outside Coca-Cola does. Daniel Case 17:36, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

GA delisting[edit]

I'm delisting this from Good Article status due to what I believe is a lack of a neutral point of view (criteria #4) in addition to some key assertions being unverifiable (criteria #2).—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

And you didn't even do that right. I restored the listing since all you did was change the template on the page. Anons, least of anons who forget to sign posts, aren't allowed to promote articles to GA and in my opinion shouldn't get to delist them either.
Really, if you can phrase your objections in a calm and reasonable manner, take them to review.

Daniel Case 05:03, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

I agree that this article is biased. It tries to present New Coke as a success which was undermined by a conspiratorial whisper campaign. That is not true. This article makes light of the colossal failure that was New Coke (New Coke is used as an example of bad decision making in Business schools all over the country) and presents it as if it wasn't a failure, rather, just misunderstood. Coke II did not sell despite being placed right next to Coca-Cola Classic. I remember when New Coke came out. It was HORRIBLE. I had been a Coke drinker since childhood and everyone I knew disliked New Coke. The failure of New Coke was due to no conspiracy; people did NOT like it. That is why Coke switched back and why you can't find New Coke or Coke II anymore. Seeringgas (talk) 21:56, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

This is all based on contemporary sources. The past isn't as we remember it. And it's a bit more complex than a "conspiratorial whisper campaign"; it's pretty clear you read what you needed to read to come here and post some self-aggrandizing mini-rant. If you read the whole thing, you'd understand that the bad decision Coke made was not realizing from marketing data they had just how much opposition to it would play out in a public context. Also, it was probably (again as should be clear from rereading the whole article) not a good idea to do this when you're in the middle of a lawsuit from your bottlers. (If you want a real failure, consider Crystal Pepsi (which cost more money to develop and was yanked from the market after less time). Daniel Case (talk) 03:13, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

Continued dispute[edit]

First of all, "Daniel" (assuming that is even your name), I never resorted to "namecalling" unless you're referring to my use of the word "pal".

First, please sign your posts.
By namecalling, I meant your assumption that I was either too young to know the history of it or a mouthpiece for Coke. Neither is true.
And second, yes it is my name. I have always used my real name here. Again you namecall by implication. Please see WP:NPA.

Second, after I corrected your statement that New Coke wasn't a "misstep", you responded with "I did. And I still do. Wanna make something of it? If they didn't like the taste, why did it beat Pepsi's ass in all the blind taste tests." Then you later said "Really, if you can [sic] phrase your objections in a calm and reasonable manner, take them to review." It seems to me that you're the one with an attitude here and definitely the only one resorting to profanity.

I asked you to explain your statement. OK, I was a little intemperate. You seem more obsessed with trying to maintain some imagined moral high ground than engaging in a coherent discussion (Contrast the "Good article, really?" section up above).

Anyway, at least I think I understand your frustration over the New Coke fiasco now; you're one of the handful of people on the planet that liked / likes it,

See what I mean about namecalling by implication? Your original post was full of sneer and snark regardless of the actual choice of words. You're nitpicking.

which also explains why you don't believe it was a fiasco.

It wasn't, not in the sense that Coke's stock tanked nor in that its sales dropped. The objective historical record shows the contrary (Although, as the article points out, Coke's very good year was probably more due to introducing Cherry Coke than either Old or New Coke).

It may be true that you know more about the procedures used here on Wikipedia, but one thing I'm pretty sure of is that it's supposed to be as much as possible an objective collection of facts and not one person's personal viewpoint.

Which is why the old article, unresearched and basically reiterating the myth that absolutely no one liked it (if that had been so, Coke would have reintroduced Classic Coke in 7 days, not 77), had to be edited and researched.

P.S. Yes, you provided many references, but none for some of your key assertions which I contend (and which you apparently can't dispute) are mere opinions.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

I assume you're referring to the "vocal minority" line. That sentence refers to the sourced line earlier about the prerelease focus groups, in which it was established that the 10-12% didn't like it and were very vocal about it, to the point of changing others' opinions. That, as I said, was Coke's biggest mistake. Contrary to what the original article said, and to what many people believe, they did research whether people would continue to buy it if it were Coke and the old formula was no longer available. They got favorable responses, which is why they went and did it. (Also note the little anecdote reported by Donald Keough (granted, he was one of the company's executives at that time, but anyone reading the article closely knows that)).
One benefit of liking it was that I was actually curious, in a way that someone who did not would probably not have been, as to why it failed. That's why I've been researching this article on a regular basis.
My assumption when writing and later, footnoting everything, was that people would remember what they had previously read and, if they wanted a source for it, recheck where the statement was originally made. Obviously I assume too much of some people.
Anyway, I also consider that other sourced statements about Coke's sales figures and the marketing surveys in close proximity to that line eliminate the need to footnote that line as it is fully supported. Although I could always recheck the Oliver/Hays/Prendergast books to see if anyone actually uses it (I think someone does). Daniel Case 22:58, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

Vandalism? Yeah, right.[edit]

So now, according to you, my previous comments were "perilously close, in (your) opinion, to vandalism". You certainly have an odd sense of what's appropriate behavior: you accuse me of "namecalling" for referring to you as "pal" and now you accuse me of near-vandalism simply for questioning the objectiveness of what you wrote. Or were you accusing me of vandalism because I, a mere anonymous poster, dared to change the "Good Article" status? You've mentioned twice now that you don't think anonymous users should be able to do so; fortunately you're not in charge of rule-making, which I suspect is a source of great frustration to you.

Since I suspect you really are coming back, but also for the benefit of any neutral parties reading this, I will respond again.
Again, yet again, you impute negatives to me and then imply I'm the one with the attitude problem. It's a fact of the Good Article process (well, I can't find it right now but I've read it stated elsewhere) that anon users are not permitted to make the promotion as this makes it too easy to sockpuppet the process. I don't know if it's a rule or not but I do feel that for equality's sake anon users should not be able to put these on review.
If you wish not to be a "mere mortal", the least you could do is take the thirty seconds to create an account.

I do appreciate the fact that you at least were honest enough to come clean and admit that you're a big fan of New Coke. Having said that, you're clearly not someone who can be reasoned with so I'm not going to try and this will be my last post.

"Screw you guys, I'm going home!". The fate of everyone who thinks they can win an argument by shouting the loudest, when someone else won't give in. I'm sorry if this is the first time it's happened to you. The sooner you get used to it, the better.

I will add that in my opinion people like you are and incidents like this are the reason why Wikipedia has a bit of a credibility problem.

IMO Wikipedia's biggest credibility problems come from unregistered editors who post what they feel like without doing research on it.

New Coke was an unmitigated disaster

It was and has been perceived as an unmitigated disaster. The article is unambiguous on that point. But being something and being perceived as something are not always the same thing. I perceive you here as a complete oaf; in real life if I got to know you offline you might be charming and gracious.

and pretty much everyone but you recognizes and admits it (including virtually every other reference to it on the web).

Ah, but are those other references as well-researched as this one? You see I've become quite familiar with them as I've been researching this article. Very few of them are well-sourced (the Soda Pop Dreams one is a notable exception, and it has been used as a source here).
BTW, here's a blogger who says he liked it too. Daniel Case 04:25, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
And another:

I still remember the first time I ever tried New Coke back in 1985. I was on a plane trip from San Jose to Chicago, and on the first leg of the trip, the plane was stocked with the normal old formula Coke. After our stopover in Denver, our plane was reloaded with New Coke. My first taste was over ice in one of those little plastic airline cups. The clean pressurized air and my dehydrated tongue made my first impression a really great one. I loved the new Coke. It was sweet and smooth, filling my mouth with a full flavor of Coke without the harsh biting aftertaste.

I forgot to add some detail on just how unreliable the other online sources are. I found a few that get the year wrong, stating it was 1986 rather than 1985; even more seem to believe that the Max Headroom ads were used to promote the new drink when it was introduced (rather than months later as it actually happened, and in addition to what's in the article I can vouch for that from memory). Here's a page that falsely states that Coke's market researchers never bothered to ask people how they felt about New Coke replacing old Coke; again, I have found and cited sources showing that they did, indeed, ask the question (their mistake there was assuming the 10-12 % wouldn't matter in the public arena). Many people believe, and state on web pages and blogs, that New Coke was taken off the market (here's The Guardian even making that same mistake); it wasn't and in fact remained the flagship brand for seven years until it became Coca-Cola II.
That, IMO, is why Wikipedia is necessary. You would be lost trying to sort through the various Google results. Properly done, it is all aggregated and filtered here, at the first hit you get. Daniel Case 03:56, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

The fact that it is described as a success (or at least not even a "misstep") on here and apparently will remain so is a prime example of why people don't take information on Wikipedia more seriously: it's too easy for intellectual bullies with too much ego and free time on their hands to impose their view of reality on a given topic.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

You were the one, in terms of "imposing your view of reality", who came in here two posts up with a ten-gallon hat and a twenty-gallon mouth loudly (I cannot read your first post and imagine it being anything but shouted at the top of your lungs) telling the world that you know better, that I (the not-that-anonymous author whom you clearly didn't imagine you'd summon from the vasty deep, even though I have my user id in the "maintained" template at the top of the page) was either too young to remember New Coke or a company shill (without a shred of evidence either way; it seems The Force is not as strong with you as you think), that because you say so it is so.
There's a word for this phenomenon; can you guess what it is? Daniel Case 02:39, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

GA status, fixes needed[edit]

I am a GA reviewer and I have some major problems with this article. Firstly, there are a number of citation-needed tags. I have added some more of these tags to some of more controversial statements. Another major problem is something that was pointed out in the original review of the GA article. The article is written in a story-like prose which is not encyclopaedic and subtly pushes a POV. This does not conform with criteria 1 and 4. Some examples are provided below with some text in bold that should be rewritten in another way.

  • “So, too, did officials at PepsiCo, who had expected a major move but not something as drastic as this.” It should simply say, “PepsiCo officials expected a major move…”
  • “Roger Enrico, then director of North American operations, wasted no time taunting the venerable rival.” Is Pepsi venerable?
  • “…crowing that Pepsi…”
  • “…work the phones and plant seeds of doubt…”
  • “…who had been well-worked by Pepsi in advance on this very issue” This also needs a cite.
Haven't got time right now to change the text but this fact is supported by a footnote a few grafs earlier. Is our mania for credibility so deep that we must not only cite a fact when originally stated but every time it is restated? Daniel Case
  • “…also made a mockery of a recent tack taken by Coke… ”
  • “…Bob Greene gave them added ammunition with…”
  • “Talk show hosts and comedians made light of the switch.” Which hosts and comedians?
  • “But how it would be received in other countries remained to be seen.” Speculating in a story-like manner does not seem to fit in an encyclopaedia.
OK, I'll make it more boring as the original GA reviewer seemed to want.
I have concerns with this constant harping that the article "pushes a POV". I have never seen any examples given of how this is so.
Yes, I've said I liked New Coke. I wasn't the only one. And this article freely acknowledges and discusses the ways Coke mishandled this.
However, there are a lot of myths about this which aren't borne out by the facts. It is Wikipedia's job to address popular historical myths and publish more accurate versions. Would you accuse The Protocols of the Elders of Zion of "pushing a POV" because it clearly states that they're a forgery? (Some people actually did want more neutral language during the FA nom).

These comments are a result of only reading less than half way through the article. Glancing ahead, I already see more examples. I would suggest a thorough review of the whole text first. I will come back again in a few days and, if needed, give more suggestions. Also remember to add the missing cites.

I'm doing that where I can and also parking some uncited material over here from the conspiracy-theory section.

On another note, the original GA review has not been preserved in an archive. The original can be read through the diff here [1]. Interestingly, the original reviewer said very much the same thing. Shortly after this reviewer's comment, however, someone else promoted it and the original reviewer's comments were ignored. The removal of this information is rather disturbing and I would recommend that the all past comments in this talk page be recovered and placed in archives. --RelHistBuff 12:02, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

The original reviewer's comments were addressed by one other and considered baseless. I resent the insinuation that someone purposely removed the comments ... I sure didn't. Daniel Case 14:42, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
It is time, I agree, to archive this page.
Firstly, my apologies as I seemed to have missed the original review which is contained here. Note, however, I did not accuse anyone in particular, I simply expressed my concerns, but in any case, apologies if you took it that way. Getting to the original point about prose, I would not just simply consider the original reviewer's points as baseless. He made a good point, a similiar comment was made previous to the original review, and I am also expounding on that point. I would suggest that it is this story-like prose that gives the impression of POV (note that I said "subtly" previously). And this also may account for that anonymous reader attacking the article. Keeping an encyclopaedic tone is important. The guideline of fairness of tone comes to mind. If you work on this, then I think you will find the article less likely to get attacked. --RelHistBuff 16:48, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
Points taken and as you may be able to see, I have begun to implement some of your suggestions. To give you credit, a lot of those things were sort of first-draft things on my part that could easily be made more encyclopedic.
BTW, the original reviewer was a she and not a he. Daniel Case 18:18, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Unsourced conspiracy theories[edit]

These are here until someone can provide a source for them other than something they heard somewhere (Daniel Case 15:48, 20 November 2006 (UTC)):

  • It is also thought that Coke may have introduced the product in order to re-assert their logo copyright which was due to expire in 1985, 100 years after the logo had first been copyrighted.
  • Yet another theory agrees that the switch was meant ultimately to fail, but that it was not about providing cover for any substantive change in the product, instead a sort of pre-emptive flanking maneuver. Pepsi, this theory holds, had been developing and considering marketing a product called Pepsi Supreme which was to have tasted more like Coke as a way to increase its market share and attract yet more Coke drinkers to its product line. By pulling a similar move themselves, Coke guaranteed, it is believed, that any move by Pepsi would look like mere imitation and thus headed off a challenge to its flagship drink. (Pepsi supposedly had such a product in development at the time, and was going to introduce it if the combination of New Coke and Coke Classic had successfully cut into its market share; but since that never happened Pepsi Supreme never saw the light of day.)
  • A final theory suggests that the company was attempting to increase the amount of shelf space for its products in supermarkets in order to make Pepsi look smaller by comparison. This is a common reason for line extension, as the introduction of Cherry Coke and more recent variations illustrates, but if that were the real goal, the new formula could have simply been introduced alongside the old one to begin with.
Any/all of these are plausible, both as theories that have been advanced, and as actaully valid hypotheses. They should be sourced and re-added. This article has hardly a dollop of critical commentary in it, was delisted as a Good Article, and hardly touches upon the very common idea that Coca-Cola introduced this product largely as PR stunt. None of this is "conspiracy theory" (conspiracy with whom? it's one company!), it's simply analysis of (singular, not conspiratorial) corporate motivation. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 13:32, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

More updating imminent[edit]

I have done more research and checked over my original research in response to recent requests for sources. In doing so I got the opportunity to look through contemporary articles in Business Week and a handful of other periodicals. There's some good stuff which I will be adding to the article in due course. Daniel Case 23:41, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:CokeII.jpg[edit]

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Image:CokeII.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in Wikipedia articles constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images uploaded after 4 May, 2006, and lacking such an explanation will be deleted one week after they have been uploaded, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.BetacommandBot 22:26, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

What happened to this article?[edit]

Seriously people, this article is worse than an article on an alternative rock has language like "Coca-Cola's original drink's market share had been shrinking the face of fierce competition from arch rival Pepsi-Cola." It might as well be the opening to a 1940s comic book--hell, why don't we give the companies superpowers? And then there is stuff like "But to his dying day..." How do you know the man felt that way to his dying day? Quit comparing New Coke to Citizen Kane, unless you have a recorded transcription of the man's swan song at his bedside.

And then this shit takes the cake... "Coca-Cola's most senior executives commissioned the top-secret "Project Kansas"..." wow. Who said it was top-secret? No citations there, and now we're equating coca-cola with COINTELPRO. And now pepsi is compared to Erwin Rommel with totally neutral titles such as "Strategic maneuvers by Pepsi," as if pepsi is loading up M4s and preparing to storm the Coca-Cola building. And then somehow the writer manages to equate the preference of new coke to the politics of the civil war:

Despite its acceptance with a large number of Coca-Cola drinkers, a vocal minority resented the change in formula and was not shy about making that opinion known — again just as had happened in the focus groups. Many of these drinkers were indeed Southerners, some of whom considered the drink a fundamental part of regional identity, and viewed the company's decision to make it sweeter through the prism of the Civil War, as another surrender to the "Yankees"[21] (although Pepsi was invented in New Bern, North Carolina, PepsiCo has located its headquarters in New York State since its 1965 establishment[22]).

Are you kidding me? This article is good at what it does, which is telling the story of struggle, sweat and tears, and the loss of honor in the face of the unapologetic masses. The writing flows well--pretty much too well--and winds up being a beautiful propaganda piece that demands sympathy to the coca-cola company and a radical reinterpretation of history, albeit in a subtle way. Trash this article and rebuild it, or at least do something to reverse the terrible paradigm that it is running on. 05:08, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

The article is good at what it presently does, which is tow the company's perspective, and present, as if out of fairness, but totally minimize critical attention. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 13:32, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
It's all footnoted, the bit about the Yankees and Goizueta's continued preference for New Coke comes from the source material (you might want to consider what those little numbers in brackets are all about), and I don't take seriously a foul-keyboarded anonymous contributor. It has survived two GA reviews. I'm sorry if it comes across as pro-Coke, but that's what comes out of the source material. I'm sure it would make you happier if it just reinforced existing myths, but in the process of actually researching them from contemporary accounts that's what emerges. Wikipedia is about reporting the facts, not reinforcing the thousands of myths people believe. This is hardly the only article that does this.

Your complaints about the wording may have some merit, but when you create an actual account and learn to make your complaints without coming across like you're auditioning for a rap contract, then we can talk about what we can do to improve the article. Daniel Case 14:50, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

I'm sorry about my language. I have changed the title of the thread. I'm too emotional about this. But I use wikipedia a lot, and this article disappoints me. While that data is cited from a book, the exact portion of the book it references isn't quoted, so it could very possibly be the author's bias. The research here from contemporary accounts is filled with assumptions and excessive, flowery writing that serves almost like plot twists. And I don't feel like creating an account, I've known people who have did and wikipedia basically consumed their lives afterward. But this isn't about that, this is about the article at hand. Even if the civil war thing isn't removed there is a large amount of text that needs to be rewritten. I'm sorry if I come off as some anonymous jerk who is attacking your work or whoever wrote most of the article, but it is not in a good condition. 17:39, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
And I removed that notice from the top of this discussion. Just because someone was vandalizing on this IP doesn't mean my points should be compromised or disregarded. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:41, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
Glad to see you come to your senses. Now to respond to this point-by-point:
  • "Dying day". Yes, I'll change that to something less melodramatic. But it is in the source material cited that he continued to have New Coke made for his personal consumption until he died in 1997.
  • "Top secret". OK, that language was in the book. They did try to keep it under wraps, and did so successfully that, as the article shows, Pepsi didn't expect Coke to do what they did, until they actually did it.
  • "Yankees". The underlying point, which emerged repeatedly from all the research I did, was that it was in the South where so much of the hostile public reaction was centered, and that it had a lot to do with Coke as a source of regional pride and identity, and that cannot be discounted. Perhaps I should make clearer (although I personally think a footnote is attribution enough here) that this language comes from Tom Oliver, not Wikipedia. But nevertheless I think the observation is an excellent way of making the point that Southerners took the change of formula very personally and it should stay in the article.
To respond also to some of your general criticisms. Exact quotes from the source material: yes, they're not in the footnotes but a lot of them were added and written before {{cite}} made the quote= parameter available. The books in question are in any large enough university library; if SUNY New Paltz had them I'm certainly sure that UI does (especially since it has been claimed that UI's library is the largest of any public university in the US). All three are standard sources for history and information about Coca-Cola and the Coca-Cola Company, written by reputable writers, two of whom (Oliver and Hays) covered Coke and New Coke extensively for the Atlanta Constitution-Journal and the New York Times respectively.

I suppose I could add direct quotes in the footnotes, but that would entail more work than I am able to do right now.

As for being pro-Coke: I didn't shy away from quoting and blocking Goizueta's bumbling description of the new flavor or noting his arrogance with reporters at the rollout. There's a section devoted to exactly what Coke didn't pick up on in its own market research (how the change would play out in a public context), and their many PR blunders (to me, really, New Coke failed more because of the PR missteps than the marketing, which was actually pretty solid for its time). I have wanted this article to correct what you will find stated as fact on far too many websites and blogs: that the executives involved were fired (they weren't); that Coke's share price tanked when New Coke was brought out (it went up and stayed there for long enough that the executives in question got bonuses) and that nobody bought or drank New Coke (outside the South, it sold well in other regions of the country). And indeed information that refutes those assumptions is sourced and stated in the article.

If people read it and find their perceptions challenged, that's why history is written. I can't state conclusions that I have come to from doing it as fact here on Wikipedia, but I sure can report what the sources I researched said.

As an aside to this, I am also thinking of spinning the history section off into a separate article, as the article as it exists is too big. I will tag that section appropriately. Daniel Case 19:54, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for listening to me. You don't have any reason to really trust an anonymous person here, so I appreciate you taking points into account. I'm sorry I haven't responded to you more recently, but the time of many papers and tests is kicking in and I find myself with little free time. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:14, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Newcoke maxheadroom.jpg[edit]

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Image:Newcoke maxheadroom.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

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BetacommandBot (talk) 22:21, 2 January 2008 (UTC)


I'm delisting due to the following problems, which seem to have been noted numerous times over the last few years:

  1. Inappropriate tone - as the GA reviewer above (as well as the template on the article) note, the style of this article is not consistant with a properly written formal encyclopedia. See concerns listed throughout the talkpage.
  2. Images - multiple images claimed as Fair Use.
  3. Trivia - pop culture section is lengthy. Trivial information is discouraged.

No offense to the maintainers, but this article is nowhere near what a GA should be. /Blaxthos ( t / c ) 09:45, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

Well, it was approved somewhat early in the GA process. I do believe that once I spin off the history section, many of these issues can be rectified and it can be relisted. Daniel Case (talk) 15:09, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
Of course there is no objection to asking to be re-reviewed / re-listed in the future. Good luck!  :-) /Blaxthos ( t / c ) 18:38, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

Jaleel White reference[edit]

I find the Jaleel White reference cited in the New Coke article to be potentially untrue, as the show "Family Matters" did not air until 4 years after the new Coca-Cola formulation was made, thus making it fairly difficult for him to imitate a character that didn't exist. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:36, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Project Kansas[edit]

I read that Project Kansas was the world's most expensive market research project. does anyone have a citation for that? Earthlyreason (talk) 11:40, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

No, because according to the research I've done, it wasn't. It cost Coke about $25 million, one-tenth of what they spent on researching Diet Coke (Though of course that figure probably includes R&D related to developing the formula, which was not a problem with New Coke). Daniel Case (talk) 13:44, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Dead link[edit]

The link to, currently citation 18, is dead. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:24, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Damn, and that was such a good one too! I'll have to see if it's available via archive. Daniel Case (talk) 14:54, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
The page is blue at from ~2007, but it appears the page isn't there. I was able to locate 6 other pages from that domain, but none seem germane to New Coke.  :( //Blaxthos ( t / c ) 21:16, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
I googled for the article's title "Coca Cola's Big Mistake: New Coke 20 Years Later ..." and found its text. It backs up everything referenced here. I changed 48 hours to days, as it doesn't say how many days, and "continued to have it produced for his personal consumption until shortly before his own death" to "continued to drink it until his own death" as while it was withdrawn from most US markets by that time, it was still popular in Chicago until 2002. It wasn't produced primarily for him, though that could be me splitting hairs.
On another note, I wonder how can have a dated link to something, which once you click it says "Not in archive". Balsa10 (talk) 22:13, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

Saturday Night Live[edit]

There was a satire on SNL about the switch too. It was a drug dealer changing the formulation of cocaine "coke" and the users upset about the switch. i think it would be a poingnant example of the public backlash. can someone find a refernce? --MartinezMD (talk) 02:33, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

Looks like an error[edit]

In the section History > Background the following sentence appears:

Market analysts believed baby boomers were less likely to purchase diet drinks as they aged and remained health- and weight-conscious. Therefore, any future growth in the full-calorie segment had to come from younger drinkers

The first sentence doesn't make sense, especially when accompanied by the second sentence. Wouldn't baby boomers (or any aging demographic) be MORE likely to purchase diet drinks "as they aged and remained health- and weight-conscious"? Captain Quirk (talk) 20:45, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, that one got heavily edited a couple of weeks ago and may have gotten turned around in the process. Daniel Case (talk) 03:14, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

Drank it until after his death?[edit]

The phrase "and continued to drink it until his own death" makes me think he stopped drinking it shortly after he died lol, does this look right to you guys? (talk) 19:40, 3 September 2011 (UTC)

I don't know. What does this other edit of yours look like? Daniel Case (talk) 01:30, 4 September 2011 (UTC)

File:New coke toast.jpg Nominated for speedy Deletion[edit]


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More salt and caffeine?[edit]

I watched this video with a lecture on diet/health/stuff, The professor claims (at 13:40) that the New Coke had more caffeine and salt, which supposedly would cause us to drink more. Can this be confirmed? (talk) 07:41, 12 February 2012 (UTC) that

We would have to evaluate the reliability of the source first. Daniel Case (talk) 15:38, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

Georgia Classic[edit]

Georgia Classic--It's not clear whether the method I am undertaking is the correct way to respond to the Daniel Case deletion of 7/30/12. The President of Pepsi made this statement on the Larry King radio program in the months following the return of Classic Coke. Sorry to have intruded into one of your prize articles, but it is true. Heard it with my own ears. How would I prove it, given that I don't have the King archives from those years? If you really care that much about the article, you can probably verify the fact that Pepsi was preparing a competitive product. I'm sure you would agree that if verified, the fact is germane to the history of this incident. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:07, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

I will respond at your IP talk page. Daniel Case (talk) 17:02, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

I must say that I am impressed by your dedication. My original reaction was one of frustration in not being able to contribute something to the article that I have found interesting enough to recall over 25 years later. But your generous response actually opens an entire new line of critical analysis of what was said by the two parties.

It may well have been Mr. Enrico in the King interview. Like anyone in a position of responsibility, his motivation was to represent his actions in the best light possible. Therefore one wonders if the comment was bluster or truth...even should the broadcast comment be documented. It in itself may have also been a threat to the Coca Cola Company going forward. Interestingly, he would have been less prone to reveal some of the other strategies you posit that Pepsi may have been considering, from the vantagepoint of self-interest.

Given the ability to reverse-engineer soda flavors, one wonders why no one has endeavored to really do this with precision with respect to Coke. Perhaps not a major firm like Pepsico, but a smaller player with less to lose. I have noted this reticence in the field of apparel in the past. 50 years ago there was a duopoly of shirtmakers manufacturing a cut most prized by young men, and selling their products at twice the price of less prestigious dress shirts. Nobody copied them, and there were even very minor differences between the two. I'm told there was no legal impediment to making a more conforming knockoff, yet no one ever did until many years later.

Parenthetically, the Wikipedia rules on verification, though understandable, present something of a conundrum. If I witness an event of historical interest firsthand, I may not enter that information into Wikipedia. But if I am quoted in a newspaper, then someone may...even though people dissemble through that medium every day. Obviously the rules are designed to abet a quest for truth, but publicaton, even in a reputable source, is no guarantee. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:10, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Brookings South Dakota[edit]

There was a man years ago who owned the semi-famous diner called Nick's Hamburgers in Brookings South Dakota and he became semi-famous for pouring new coke down a storm drain because he was a long time coke fan and collector. Maybe that should have a mention in the article??Ilikeguys21 (talk) 17:34, 30 March 2016 (UTC)

If it got into any national media coverage, yes. Daniel Case (talk) 17:40, 30 March 2016 (UTC)

I do believe that it received a lot of national media coverage.Ilikeguys21 (talk) 15:24, 31 March 2016 (UTC)

Good. Can you find some examples? Daniel Case (talk) 19:05, 31 March 2016 (UTC)