Three Charged With Trying to Sell Coca-Cola Secrets
Three people have been charged with trying to sell Coca-Cola trade
secrets to rival PepsiCo. Joya Williams, a Coca-Cola employee, Ibrahim
Dimson and Edmund Duhaney appeared in a federal court in Atlanta on
accusations of wire fraud and stealing and selling trade secrets. The group
allegedly contacted PepsiCo through the mail, offering confidential
information, and PepsiCo turned the letter over to Coca-Cola, who reported
it to the FBI. The FBI conducted an undercover investigation that included
offers to sell confidential documents and a sample of a product in
development at Coca-Cola for more than $1.5 million.
Coca-Cola Chief Executive Officer Neville Isdell
expressed “sincere appreciation to PepsiCo for alerting us to this
attack,” and told employees in a memo that the company is reviewing
its information protection policies. “Sadly, today’s arrests
include an individual within our company,” he said. “While this
breach of trust is difficult for all of us to accept, it underscores the
responsibility we each have to be vigilant in protecting our trade secrets.
Information is the lifeblood of the company.”
PBG expands in Mexico
The Pepsi Bottling Group
Inc. has acquired Mexico’s Bebidas Purificadas S.A. de C.V. (BEPUSA).
Based in northwestern Mexico, BEPUSA serves Sonora, Sinaloa and Baja
According to PBG Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
John Cahill, "This business is an ideal addition to our business in
Mexico. It is contiguous to our existing operations, which will allow us to
efficiently leverage our infrastructure across this territory. With this
new business, PBG Mexico now will generate approximately 70 percent of
Pepsi's total sales in Mexico."
BEPUSA operates seven manufacturing plants and 22
warehouses. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Miller pumps up offerings with energy products
Miller Brewing Co. has purchased the Sparks and Steel Reserve brands from
McKenzie River for $215 million. Sparks is a citrus-flavored malt beverage
containing caffeine, ginseng, taurine and guarana; and Steel Reserve is a
The two companies have had a long-running
relationship under which Miller brewed the McKenzie River products under
contract, and the companies are said to be working on future product
Study defends alcohol advertising
Arecent study by
Penn State University indicates that, based on economic evidence, the
alcohol beverage industry does not target underage consumers in magazine
advertising, reports the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States
(DISCUS), based in Washington, D.C.
“Results from analyzing magazine characteristics
and readership demographics show significant effects for advertisement
price, audience size and adult demographics in magazine alcohol ads, but
fail to support claims of targeting youth,” said Jon Nelson,
professor emeritus of economics at Penn State, in a statement about the
report, which was published in the July issue of Contemporary Economic Policy.
The study reviewed alcohol ads in 28 magazines between
2001 and 2003 and analyzed them by demographics and magazine
characteristics. The 28 magazines in the study contained a total of 3,675 alcohol ads, including 652 beer ads, 118 wine ads and
2,905 distilled spirits ads.
Peter Cressy, president of DISCUS, commented on the
study saying, “The study’s conclusions are consistent with
previous analyses by the [Federal Trade Commission], which have shown that
alcohol advertising is directed to adults. We remain steadfastly opposed to
underage drinking, but as this study confirms, calls to restrict alcohol
advertising to prevent this illegal activity are misguided and will do
nothing to address the serious issue of underage drinking.” Cressy
said research shows parents are the most influential factor in a
youth’s decisions about alcohol.
In other spirits advertising news, DISCUS reports that
its Code of Responsible Practices, which includes semi-annual public
reports on alcohol advertising complaints, was recently selected as the
best “Business Ethics Communications” in the PR News Corporate
Social Responsibility Awards. The award recognized the association that
“clearly demonstrated unquestionable business ethics to all
stakeholders, in some cases mitigating the crises of confidence that
employees, customers and other stakeholders may have had in the wake of
recent corporate scandals.”
To make the industry’s advertising review
process more transparent and understandable to the public, the Council
began publishing semi-annual public reports in 2005. It detailed complaints
against specific spirits advertisements, decisions of the industry’s
review board, and actions taken by each advertiser in response to the
decision. Other award winners included Gap Inc., Daimler Chrysler, Sprint,
Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co., Hyperion Solutions and Deloitte & Touche USA.
A-B picks up Goose Island distribution
nion Beverage Co.,
Chicago, has sold its Illinois distribution rights for Goose Island Beer
and Grolsch Beer to the Anheuser-Busch distribution network for $9.1
John Wittig, President of Union Beverage Co.,
commented on the sale, saying, “While we are disappointed to be
giving up the distribution rights for these brands, Union Beverage could
not pass up the opportunity to sell the distribution rights for an
unprecedented amount that represents a tremendous valuation for the
In addition, Glazer’s Distributors of Illinois
Inc. has purchased 80 percent of Union Beverage Co. The sale is expected to
close before the end of the year.
InBev to sell Latrobe brewery
I nBev, based in Leuven,
Belgium, is in talks to sell its Latrobe, Pa., brewing facility to City
Brewing, LaCrosse, Wis. The company recently sold Rolling Rock and other
brands produced at the Latrobe brewery to Anheuser-Busch, which decided to
move production of those brands to its existing breweries rather than
purchase the facility. City Brewing produces its own brands and has a large
contract manufacturing business.
InBev and A-B also have been rumored to be discussing
distribution of InBev’s European brands, including Stella Artois,
Beck’s and Leffe.
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Beverage Industry’s December issue highlights five beverages brands that are “shooting for the moon” in terms of innovation. Also in this issue, we spotlight the premiumization of the private-label beverage market, the latest trends impacting the use of tea ingredients in beverages, the growth of beverage sales in the eCommerce platform, and much more!