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Coca-Cola Case Study: An Ethics Incident

Dr. Wilhelmina Ford Dr. Robert Stephens Dr. Linda Cooper Macon State College

Archive of Marketing Education

August, 2007

Coca-Cola Case Study: An Ethics Incident

Introduction The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, sponsored by US Senator Paul Sarbanes and US Representative Michael Oxley, represents the biggest change to federal securities laws since the New Deal. (11). One of the first companies to become involved in the new act was the Coca-Cola Company which represents an internationally recognized brand product. In 2003, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Coca-Cola Company came together in Georgia courtroom when former Coca-Cola employee Matthew Whitley’s lawsuits against the company went to
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Pemberton’s recipe was purchased on April 14, 1891, for $2300 by Asa Chandler, an Atlanta pharmacist and businessman who turned Coca-Cola into the internationally recognized brand it is today. By 1892, Chandler’s talent for merchandising had boosted sales of Coca-Cola nearly tenfold. He soon collaborated with his brother John S.

Coca Cola

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Archive of Marketing Education

August, 2007

Chandler, John Pemberton’s former partner Frank Robinson, and two other associates to form a Georgia corporation called The Coca-Cola Company. Ernest Woodruff purchased the Coca-Cola Company in 1919 for $25 million. He turned the company over to his son Robert Woodruff in 1923. Today Coca-Cola’s reach spreads far beyond Georgia and even the United States; the company has become one of the world’s most recognizable corporations. The Coca-Cola brand is one of the five most recognized symbols in the world. Currently, the Coca-Cola Company has nearly 400 brands in over 200 countries. In 2004, the company’s total net operating revenue equaled $21,962. Coca-Cola Company’s Philanthropic History Coke’s long philanthropic history began with the Asa Chandler family who contributed money to the establishment of Emory University. The company’s generosity continued with the Woodruff family. The personal friendship between Robert Woodruff and Dwight Eisenhower aided in the decision to locate the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. Woodruff donated money to purchase the land for

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