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Coca-Cola explains why Baringo girl doesn’t qualify to be brand ambassador

Coca-Cola company has responded to numerous calls by social media users to make Joy Jebiwott, 4, a brand ambassador after photos of the young girl holding a bottle of Coca-cola took the internet by storm.

Joy, a Pre-Primary One (PP1) pupil at Dreams Hill Academy in Mogotio, Baringo County was photographed taking a Coke drink dressed in a traditional attire at her grandmother’s home in Eldama Ravine.

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In a statement dated Monday, May 25, Coca-cola said while the photos represented pure happiness, the company could not make the girl a brand ambassador since she is under the age of 12.

The beverage company said that their brand ambassadors must be above the age of 12 who will be featured in adverts marketed worldwide.

“This is pure happiness. You’ve made us smile by capturing and sharing this beautiful image, especially when things are so sad in the world right now,” said the company.

“As a company we have made a decision not to use children under the age of 12 in our adverts and marketing worldwide, but we do love seeing your creativity and passion for our brand so continue sharing your amazing talents with us,” it added.

According to the firm’s marketing policy published on their website, they do not create and design their marketing communications in a way that directly appeals to children under 12.

“Specifically, we will not use, in any communications created after the date of adoption of this policy: Celebrities or characters whose primary appeal is to children under 12, with the exception of brand equity characters already in use… Licensed merchandise whose primary appeal is to children under 12. Images of our products being consumed by children under 12 without an adult present. We will not feature any children who are, or appear to be, under 3.”

However, according to Coca-Cola’s PR and Communications partner in Kenya, Ogilvy, they are still looking at the pros and cons before using the Baringo girl as their brand ambassador.

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“There are two elements to the social media campaign. First, there is the wonderful four-year-old girl in the photos. Second, there is an element of art. The photos were taken by the girl’s cousin, a photographer. As you know, Coca-Cola is also a huge promoter of art. The decision is quite complex and requires extensive consultation given that our firm is global and has many layers.

“And then there is the age of the girl, she is still very young, something not allowed by our responsible marketing communications policy,” the PR firm told K24.

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