A little background to the story goes thus:
In 2007, One Dr. Fijabi had bought about twelve million Naira worth of Fanta and Sprite drinks from coca cola bolting company in Nigeria and exported them to the United Kingdom. He was however told in England that the drinks fell short of Health and Safety regulations because after the authorities tested the products, they found out that they contain “poisonous levels of Benzoic Acid and Sunset addictive”, and were therefore declared “unfit for human consumption”. The whole export consignment was consequently destroyed.
Dr. Fijabi therefore, sued Coca-Cola for Negligence, breach of the duty of care to its customers, and loss of earnings.
The Lagos State High Court under justice Adebayo Oyebanji has now given a judgment that Coca-Cola bottling company is “callous and negligent” the judge also accused the country’s National Agency For Food and Drug Administration and Control(NAFDAC) of not carrying out proper laboratory checks on soft drinks production in Nigeria.
The court further direct coca-cola bottling company to state on the body of its products a warning that “Fanta and sprite can cause cancer, especially if taken with Vitamin C tablets.The court further awarded the plaintiff a huge cash reward as the damage he suffered.
In my own opinion, scandals to other brands are good for a competitor’s brands if they play their cards right.
The essence of media monitoring is to keep tab of happenings to competitors, industry and what consumers or clients are saying.
Taking advantage of negative reports/happenings to competitors is not new. If you ask me, it is the best time to push one’s brand as alternative and best in the market. The coca-cola scandal in Nigeria is a perfect situation for competitors like Pepsi to make statements or even create a campaign that will sell their brand(s) as scandal free. Coca-cola, on the other hand, has refused to make a statement as regards the scandals which to me is a way of admitting that they are guilty.
The lesson here is very simple, on the other hand as an entrepreneur, you have to put your ear to the ground so as to take advantage of happenings in your industry. Coca-col, on the other hand, might think they are untouchable or this scandal may not affect their brand but they lied, the message is spreading like wildfire and the only brand that can step-up is the one that is not guilty of such accusations as that of coca-cola.
The big question for me is, is PEPSI cola also guilty of what coca-cola is being accused of? they need to tell us or we will find out soon.
Finally as an entrepreneur, don’t just listen to the news,take advantage of it by telling your own story.
You might end up being the only alternative at the time.