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Fact Check-Coca-Cola can with ‘try to be less white’ slogan not produced by the company

An image of a Coca-Cola can with the slogan “try to be less white” has been shared widely on social media, confusing audiences who believe it is authentic. The company confirmed no such product was produced and according to experts, the image is likely digitally altered.

Examples of the image can be found (here) and (here).

“I will never buy another Coca-Cola again in my life,” one individual said in the comments. “Time to boycott Coke,” another social media user added.

However, a spokesperson for Coca-Cola confirmed in an email to Reuters that the company did not produce any such can. Reuters could not find any other authentic images showing such a message on a Coca-Cola product.

The viral image also shows signs of manipulation, Dr Mark Scanlon, Director of the Centre for Cybersecurity & Cybercrime Investigation at University College Dublin, told Reuters.

“The main indicator of manipulation in my view are the inconsistencies in the lettering of the slogan,” Scanlon said in an email.

“Given the high resolution and quality of typical printing on Coca-Cola cans, the font should be consistent, and the edges of the font should be crisp. Repeated use of the same character in the sentence should be precisely the same,” he said.

When rotating the slogan horizontally, Scanlon compared the lettering and noted irregularities with letters ‘o’ and ‘e’ on the can. The ‘o’ has “inconsistent font weight” around the entire letter, while the ‘e’ characters are inconsistent throughout the slogan.

“Even if the font used had the precise character design in the first ‘e’ example, it would look consistent every time it is used across the whole slogan. However, the alignment of the top semi-circle in the ‘e’ is inconsistent in each instance,” he added.

In February, a similar doctored image (here) of a Coca-Cola can with the same slogan went viral. The edited image was taken from the stock image website, Shutterstock (here).

Reuters previously debunked a fabricated tweet claiming to show US President Joe Biden saying that he was “proud” to see Coca-Cola “educate their staff in cultural reappropriation” (here) and a false quote attributed to Coca-Cola’s CEO (here).

The claim surged months after a backlash against Coca-Cola after a video circulating online showed diversity training materials that included guidance to “try to be less white.” Some users on social media attributed the content to the company, as reported by Newsweek here . Coca-Cola attributed the learning material to a course hosted online (here).

VERDICT

False. Coca-cola did not release a can with a slogan that reads “Try to be less white.”

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here .

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