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tv   Book Discussion on For God Country and Coca- Cola  CSPAN  April 9, 2016 4:00pm-5:02pm EDT

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next, author mark pendergrast talks about his book "for god, country, and coca-cola: the definitive history of the great and itn soft drink" discusses the origins of coca-cola, the company's battle with the dude and drug administration -- food and drug administration, and various marketing strategies and advertising campaigns. this is at the carter center in atlanta. it is about one hour. [applause] hello.degrast: i have never had the opportunity to do this before. [laughter] this is a mini can, i am quite fond of these. it is actually larger than the old 6.5 ounce bottles i grew up with. [laughter] mr. pendegrast: and i like them because they hold the fizz and
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they stay relatively cold, longer. [laughter] mr. pendegrast: let me introduce my other books really quickly. book,s actually my latest not the new edition of coke. this is a wonderful children's book, silly sadie. you can find all of this at my website, which is my name. jokeis a far joke -- fart book did this is a history -- far joke book. this is a history of coffee. mirror, as mirror, history of meares -- mirrors. japan's tipping point, which is recent. i went looking to see whether they were really doing a lot about renewable energy after the
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meltdown. and one more, let's see, victims of memory is probably my most important book, it is about the repressed memory of the dimmick -- the epidemic of the late 1980's and early 1990's. wanted to open this 1985, and i from presume if you are interested in coca-cola that you know what happened in 1985. they changed the flavor of coca-cola and to the entire world went insane. [laughter] mr. pendegrast: it is really amazing. i cannot think of another product that people would have gone so busy work over. ezerk over.e -- b
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i started the book with the change. i talked to the company about with the drink meant to them, not so much the taste of it, but what it meant. i will read a few of the leaders -- letters that the company was kind enough to let me have. a file of letters that people wrote to them in 1985. "i am a very heavy coke drinker, i do not drink coffee, tea, water, i drink nothing but coke. i always have a glass or can of coke. always. i have now to find something to drink that i can't tolerate. -- can tolerate. it will not be new coke. " "changing coke is like changing the american dream. millions of dollars worth of advertising cannot overcome
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years of conditioning, or in my case, generations. old coke is in my blood. until you bring old coke back, i am going to drink rc." [laughter] "i do not drink alcohol make -- alcoholic beverages. my only vice has been coke and now you have taken that pleasure from the. my dearest -- from me. my dearest coke, you betrayed me. i knew that our love affair was over. " it is just amazing. i wanted to start off with that introduction. the question is, how in the world did that happen? how did a drink that was 99% sugar water, to represent the united states of america to many people. and come to mean so much and have so much power in the world,
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including in politics, the environment, and now they are being blamed for the obesity epidemic. how did this happen? i will try to take you through a march through this. i am sure that i cannot cover everything. please, make little notes about questions you want answered and i will try to answer them. coca-cola was invented in 1886 by this gentleman, this is the only known picture of him, john pender tim. he was born in 1831 in georgia. he became a pharmacist and he was a doctor. he was a patent medicine maker. he was convinced that he would make his fortune. he made things like extracts and costs soar up -- cough syrup and other medicines you have never heard of. so he was not a very good businessman. he would make money and give it away. he was also in the civil war and
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he was wounded and i believe that is a reason he became a morphine addict, with many civil war veterans did become. he also had, of course, ready access to it as a pharmacist. although, it was perfectly legal and so my 14. -- until 1914. in 1869,to atlanta determined to make his fortune. in 1884, 2 he had it years before he invented coca-cola, because he made a drink that was an imitation of this world-famous drink. it is called van mariani. if you had been alive, everybody knew about it, you would have known about. moved tomariani had paris and was making his bordeaux wine with coca leaf.
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it had a healthy portion of alcohol and cocaine. and everybody thought that cocaine was a wonder drug in the 1880's, including sigmund freud. and he had endorsement from the likes of queen victoria, thomas edison, and the pope. he loved van mariani. so naturally, this is such a popular drink that many people imitated it, including john. he created a drink called french wine coca. andit was clearly a ripoff in interviews with the atlanta constitution, he said as much. but he said, mine is better. i have made a superior product. i want to read you from one of ,he ads for van mariani because french wine coca, part of me, to give you a flavor of his style
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of advertising. -- i will try a americans aret -- the most nervous people in the world. all who are suffering from any nervous complaint would want to use the delightful remedy, french wine coca. any afflicted with trouble, mental or physical distance -- a joshing, gastric irritability, etc. is quickly. by thewine -- cured line. -- wine. literary men, bankers, ladies, all who are in secretary employment you have nervous frustration, irregularities of ae thousand, he require stimulant will find wine coca
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invaluable. coca is the most wonderful invigorate her of the sexual impotency,will cure etc. when all other remedies fail." he went on and on about this drink and he was selling it like investors we guess what happened, sam jones came to town and he was a preacher who convinced everybody that liquor was evil. so atlanta was one of the first cities that voted to go dry. there was a vote in november of 1885 and to give people time to adjust to this, it was going to take effect on july 1, 1886. so john frantically tried to figure out how he could modify french wine coca to make what he called a temperance drink and that is what coca-cola is. [laughter] mr. pendegrast: he kept the coca
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leaf. he added a lot of sugar because it was very bitter. ola nut.t -- c ola this is a popular drug that contains caffeine. and this is the formula for coca-cola, the new when i have in the third edition. this is the reason you should buy this book and have me autograph it. this is in the handwriting of frank robinson, in early partner of john. and when frank robinson took the drink to handler and convince him it would occur his headaches. -- would cure his headaches. we did it. if you look over where it says coca-cola flavor, doesn't that look familiar? hero out the famous script and he -- he wrote out the famous
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script and he wrote coca-cola. it had cooking and caffeine. found thedy has ever recipe for french wine coca and there it is. i just wanted to show you what these were. these are real plan. this is what a coca plant looks like. may take a leave and they import it from peru. -ize it.cocaine in the 1920's and had a little bit of cocaine. and i took this picture when i was doing research for inside the outbreak. i bought one of these from a beautiful young woman and to do ed it and spit out immediately. it is incredibly better. i know why he added a summit sugar. to children.e this
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this is in 1894. it on aertised calendar. they put it on things that you had to look at a lot. they gave away free matchbooks with the coca-cola logo on it, fans orrs, or japanese calendars. early on, they had wholesome nice-looking women although this one looks strong. [laughter] mr. pendegrast: it was a delightful summer and winter beverage, they sold it in winter, specific for headaches. it was at the same time a medicine and a soft drink. and it was served in soda fountains with carbonated water. and around this time, frank robinson wrote in a letter and
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said, women keep contacting me and saying, would you please stop with the medicinal advertising. just advertise it as a refreshing drink, because we do not want to feel like we are sick to drink it. he began to get that idea and gradually they began to change the advertising. this is one from 1905, 2 years after they took out the cocaine. and they are still advertising it with little children. and children all healthy and happy drinking .oca-cola let me mention why they took out the cocaine. cocaine had been a wonder drug in the 1880's, but gradually it became clear that it was an addictive drug that was a real problem. the reason that they really took it out was that coca-cola was a very southern drink and there were rumors that black people
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were drinking too much coca-cola, getting high on the cocaine, raping white women and murdering their bosses. this was in newspapers i found at the time, i am quite convinced that is one of the main reasons that they took out, from racism. why they removed the cocaine. this is another one showing a kind of rx, prescription for students and brain workers, it is supposed to make you smarter. as the drink was quite controversial, even after they , thethe cocaine out company decided to try to make it a patriotic beverage. here you can see uncle sam pulling a coca out of the white house soda fountain. [laughter] mr. pendegrast: midnight -- it did not do them any good, because this man hated coca-cola and he was kind of like the
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route nadir of his day. his day.nader of he got a peer drug -- pure food and drug act passed and would be the first head of the fda, or what would be known as the fda. he got the government to sue coca-cola in 1911, which almost put them out of business. one of his complaints was that the caffeine was an added ingredient that they were trying to promote to children. and coke barely survived the lawsuit. i hope you will read the chapter on it. one of the things that came out of that was they were never to show children under the age of 12 years old drinking coca-cola in an ad again and as far as i know, they never have. here is harvey wiley in the 1912 good housekeeping article
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warning the public against the gremlins of the coca-cola. that is what a coke glass look like. handler, he always wanted to have wholesome women and no over sexual appeals, kind of just sexual appeals. this was a bottler in chicago that showed a prostitute who was very happy and tired and satisfied, that is what it says underneath. [laughter] mr. pendegrast: and you can see the empty coke bottles. he did not like that, but he took the idea. coca early on realized that they should have sports celebrities advertising the drink. robert woodruff who took over was very good friends with ty cobb and convinced him to buy into it.
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fortune.e basis of his and it should have been the fortune of my father and his father, because my grandfather bought coca-cola stock and then sold it month later in order to buy a house. unfortunate. [laughter] mr. pendegrast: this was an ad from 1922, showing the relatively new at that time, hobble skirt bottle, or the contour bottle. what happened was, coke had a contest in 1915 to select a bottle that people would recognize, a blind man could recognize in the dark or you know, that anybody would know was coca-cola. the reason they did this was not for advertising but for legal purposes, they wanted to sue people who were imitating them. classichat is how this
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bottle was created. by the way, the bottling began these9 in a big way, when two chattanooga lawyers said they want to bottle it. the owner said, i do not want it bottled, it is not a good product, the bottles blow up. but i tell you what, i will give you the right to bottle it across the united states, but you need to use my syrup. that created an incredible franchise bottling system and it also created tension between the bottlers and the company forever more. and numerous lawsuits came out of that and you'll have to read the book to find out what they were. so, during the depression robert woodruff worked with an ad man and between lee them, they came up with some of the best and most classic coca-cola advertising ever. robert woodruff said no more
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defensive ads, we will not say, it is not bad for you. and we will not worry about the fact that the government sued us and the army band it from army bases in 1907, we are just going to say it is a wholesome product and a wonderful kind of affordable luxury. and during the depression, this is a great thing, for only five cents you could get yourself a little cause that refreshes -- pause that refreshes and it was a wonderful ad line. pause thate -- refreshes became a tagline. and these are the whole some beauties that if you like coca-cola, they would love you too. here is a serving tray, things that you look at or use all the time, they were good at that. this is a norman rockwell picture of a wholesome freckle faced boy drinking coke. he looks close to being under 12
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years old. this is during a time when the u.s. was urbanizing quickly and even then, coca-cola was harkening back to a mythical past. very good at doing that. still very good at it. they could not show children drinking it, but they did want to get children to drink their drink from an early age and to become loyal to it and literally, addicted to it. the letter to represent their drink than santa claus. ad features a wonderful artist, featuring santa claus in 1931 and they are still going on, as you know. and it really to find -- defined the way that we think of santa claus. up until then, some were that and jelly, but somewhere thin
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and tall. forever more, since it would look like this and prefer coca-cola. and when i was growing up, we had a cute little coca-cola santa claus by the fireplace. remember that? with a tiny coca-cola. and mom and dad, would you stand up? just for a moment. [applause] my dad made part of his living by making display racks for coca-cola and he helped me with introducing me to many people when i was first reading the first edition of the book. during world war ii, that was really, this is just beyond comprehension -- they exempted coca-cola. one pearl rock -- harbor happened, woodruff said we will provide coca-cola for our fighting men no matter where they are, for only a nickel.
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it was a great patriotic gesture, but it was also a brilliant marketing move. as a result, coca-cola was deemed a morale booster for the troops. overseas coca-cola men dressed in army uniforms with t.o. on their shoulders, technical observer it stood for, this is a civilian essential to the war effort. many of them fixed airplanes, but these guys set up bottling plants behind the lines to get to the troops and it really was a morale booster. i have all of the letter that will not read now, but i will what they really meant to them in the trenches. it set them up after the war with, everybody knew that coke was a g.i. drink. pepsi was screaming bloody murder all this time and they
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did not get the same treatment. i thought that this was a funny ad, a cartoon, congratulations you are the 100th soldier who has posed without bottle of coca-cola, you can drink it. at the same time that coca-cola was the patriotic drink, which you know, it is amazing it had become this after the u.s. government had sued them not long ago the 30 years before. inside not popular see germany, this is a 1937 iner of coca-cola news and the head ofd that was putting germany a coca-cola logo next to a huge
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swastika. it was shocking. himself,was not a nazi but he had to go along to get along. --all that chapter coca-cola because for him it was coca-cola over everything. -- he was sent to a concentration camp himself, because he refused to join. and he came up with fanta. and that is what the company used later on to go into fruit drinks. after the war, coca-cola was watched for international expansion. this is a cover from time magazine in 1950, says world and friends love that american way of life. coke had become a symbol of the american way of life, for good
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and bad. the communists, they spread rumors that coca-cola would turn your hair white overnight, that it made you impotent, that it was awful for you. and nonetheless, coke persevered in the so it was almost abandoned in france. the mineral water makers did not want it. i have a chapter in the book coca-cola colonization. coke was very good at doing advertising on the radio and when television came a long, they jumped on board. they sponsored are the and harriet, the perfect american family to drink coca-cola. with little ricky doing so also. at the same time, robert woodruff did not like change. so he did not want to change from the one drink, one size, one price. it was a 6.5 ounce bottle for a nickel and that is all there was.
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pepsi had come along during the depression and that pepsi and a 12 ounce -- in a 12 ounce beer bottle and they had a jingle that said, pepsi-cola hits the spot, 12 full ounces that is a lot, twice as much for a nickel too, pepsi-cola is right for you. it was a low quality drink or people,le -- for cheap but it sold a lot of pepsi and coke receive --refused to match them. nobody at coca-cola would say pepsi, they would say the imitator. they would not even name them. finally they broke down and they came out with a king size coke and finally with sprite and with a diet drink. although, i do not want to offend people, even though many people love tab.
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everybody likes something and then they become used to it, even though it may taste like kerosene. [applause] [laughter] hadpendegrast: so, coca-cola never addressed a huge market, the african-american market was very big for coca-cola. but they only showed black people in ads as domestic servants throughout the 1920's and 1930's. here, in the 1950's, they showed sugar ray robinson. this was in a publication for blacks, said they had separate but equal ads. it was not until the 1960's when they were basically forced by the civil rights movement to not ads,show blacks in their this is a real thing ad, but also there is in a credible story in the book of charlie boone thed charlie
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first black sales rep they had and what they went through together as a team in the 1960's with death threats and people dumping food in their laps in restaurants, etc. two coca-cola's credit, robert woodruff was the one that said, when martin luther king jr. won the nobel peace prize in 1964, you will go to the dinner in honor of my mother king. and when -- martin luther king. and when he was killed, coca-cola helped pay for the funeral and to make sure that atlanta did not blow up the way the country was. thing been an interesting , there was a racial determination lawsuit not long ago that coca-cola finally settled, but there have been racial issues right along.
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, is real thing campaign think was brilliant. hippiested to appeal to and they wanted to appeal to the old generation at the same time. and the hippies were looking for authentic things, you know. they wanted to do their thing and to be real in terms of authentic. so this ad managed to appeal to them as well as, this is the authentic thing, not pepsi, etc. 1971, as part of the real thing campaign, they did in iconic commercial which we all these -- they lip sync to the group, the new seekers who actually sang the song. it is a moving ad and it shows everybody holding coca-cola as
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if it was a message of peace. then the world would be at peace if everybody drank coca-cola. true inf think that is a way. at the end of the book, i talk about the power of capitalism to you know, people do not want to see -- coca-cola does not want to see people at work. -- war. you cannot sell much coca-cola if people are killing each other. in many ways they have tried to keep the world at peace. they were very much involved with the transition to power from white south africa to nelson mandela. in a good way. anyway, we all know that commercial. i need to sing. i would like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony. thank you. [laughter]
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thisendegrast: there was joe green commercial from 1979 that was also wonderful. somebody said that he looked like a fellow. the kids said, mr. green, mr. greene, you are the best ever. i found out in my research that they made him do 18 takes and in that he threw up after the si xth. and then they used the first take. poor guy. [laughter] mr. pendegrast: this is 1985 which i already talked about. and here is the brilliant ceo who came to coke from cuba, because of castro. and he had worked for coca-cola in cuba before castro nationalized the business. and he came and he said, there formulas, and
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nobody ever considered that he really meant it. but coca-cola had been losing market share for the past 20 years and they do not have great ads, what was the matter? they had the annoying pepsi challenge and they decided, well , we will change it and make it safe better than pepsi. about 51% of people preferred the new taste of coke to pepsi, the other 49% was almost burning down the country. [laughter] mr. pendegrast: for three months there were huge protests and they finally brought back the classic. of whateminded people coke meant to them. and then it was gaining market share ever sense. so much so, many people think this was a hoax, that coke intended to do this. let me tell you, they do not. -- did not. i am going to jump, because i need to finish things.
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this was an ad from the killer coke campaign, a guy named rogers who was a longtime union activist started this. werethe fact is that there union members in coca-cola bottling plant in columbia that were murdered in the 1990's. the question is, did the coca-cola bottler in collusion with the paramilitary groups that committed the murders? it is entirely possible that they were, but it is difficult to prove this one. i doubt that anybody in atlanta had anything to do with it. on the other hand, the country has always said, well, those are the bottlers that is not us. the fact is, the bottlers cannot do business unless you sell them the concentrate, or the syrup. huge campaign,
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which is still going on. they tried to do a lawsuit which got thrown out of court eventually. but this was the kind of thing that coca-cola hates for good reason. and it also has made them begin to pay attention to a lot of human rights allegations around the world, which i think is a good thing that they pay more attention to them. but let me say, i think coca-cola is essentially a pretty good company. in many ways. every major corporation does awful things come up with a cola -- all buildings. coca-cola is held accountable anyway that many aren't, because there is an image, the perfect drink for the people to protest because you can protest them. anti-coca-colaan book, it is not a pro coca-cola
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book, it is a well researched book that offers the facts as i came to know them on both sides. they were accused in india quite recently of depleting the water table. india has terrible water problems, but 98% of those problems come from the very poor way that they irrigate and that the new agriculture. coca-cola, some of their bottling plants, they should not have put them where they did, in areas with bad drought. and they did contribute to depleting the water table, but is hard to blame them entirely for this. and they have now begun to replenish the water with underter and harvesting the new ceo who came in. they have now begun to focus on water issues around the world. when i went to kenya as part of
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the research for inside the outbreaks, the cdc is doing something called the safe water system, which gets people to put diluted bleach in containers and then they have narrow tops so you cannot stick your hand in and re-pollute it. coca-cola was paying for this program in elementary schools, so that was very heartening to me. allegationse these seriously, but in this particular case i think that they received more blame dan deserved. -- than deserved. coca-cola has been -- have you used these machines? they are cool, i think. you can choose different things, this is coca-cola trying to be more active with advertising and with marketing. they want to involve consumers.
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they had a hidden camera when they were testing these in atlanta and they caught a woman who kissed the side of the machine. [laughter] mr. pendegrast: that was quite funny. but you can sort of mix and match in a modern version of what they called the suicide found -- suicide soda found. dealhe way, neville is is from ireland originally, he was an anti-apartheid activist as a student. and he brought back someone to be his his second in command. the he retired in 2008 as ceo, that person took over. he is a turkish american whose father was the ambassador to the united states and other countries as he was growing up. his father was one of the people
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that saved jews during the holocaust, from being sent to the gas chambers. so, this is kent who is very much a coca-cola man, delivering the first case of coca-cola in miramar, burma, leaving only cuba and north korea as places where you cannot legally by coke. -- buy coke. so, i mean, coca-cola is the world's most widely distributed single product. it is probably the second best known word on earth, after the word ok. i do not know if that is still true, or not. [laughter] mr. pendegrast: it has huge amounts of money flowing in, it has a good profit margin. it has also given huge amounts of money for good causes, particularly in the city of atlanta, but they also have given a lot of money to the
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world wildlife fund, to aids prevention and treatment in africa, because they are the largest single private employer in africa. and another -- and a number of other things which you probably do not know about. they have been blamed for the obesity academic -- epidemic, and they have reacted by coming out at saying, that we are part of the solution, not the problem. and some of that rings hollow to me, they said we have reduced how much sugary soft drinks and calories we give to children in schools. that is because they were forced out of schools in 2006. now they are bragging about it. offer about a quarter of their products now, low-calorie or no calorie. this is good business, because inary soft drinks peaked
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1988, in terms of per capita production and they have been dwindling down. they came out recently with coke who, which is aimed at men do not like to say that they drinking diet drink. and it uses the real coca-cola formula, whereas diet coke does not. i think at some point in the future, the combined sales of coke zero and diet coke will surpass regular coca-cola. ounce can of coca-cola has a nine teaspoons of sugar or high fructose corn syrup in this country, the equivalent of sugar. that is a lot. so they should be held accountable, not for the entire obesity epidemic, but for encouraging people to drink a huge amount of sugar. the thing i wish they would do and i am very glad they are
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supporting exercise programs and that they are -- i am glad they are paying attention to the issue. i wish they would not spend millions of dollars to the beverage association to tax sodas i think that they should embrace that. until they put high taxes on cigarettes, you know, you can preach to people until you are blue in the face, but this does not make people change behavior, money does. this is a controversy all thing to say -- controversy all thing to say, but i think that we should have higher taxes on sugary beverages, because it will reduce the consumption. are not likely to agree with me. this is from the company website from january this year announcing efforts to be one of the most -- beat one of the most
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serious issues, obesity. i applaud them for doing that. they now offer drinks around the world that this is a company that offered one drink in one size until 1955. they have done that by buying a lot of other companies, they buy vitaminlion to water. they are not that good at creating new drinks, but they have a section of people who just look at new drinks and try to find the next winter, so they can buy it. the future for coca-cola and for other soft drink copies is china -- companies is china, where they have formed partnerships with the chinese government and the chinese government has committed many human rights abuses, including rent before
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in which theyics paid for the elliptic torch run. -- olympic torch run. they came down hard on them and that was a huge issue. there is a lot of politics involved. and i wanted to mention one other thing. coca-cola has been involved in getting various presidents elected, beginning most notably with eisenhower who was a great buddy of robert woodruff. and then when jimmy carter was running for president, coca-cola was helpful to him. and carter, when he was governor, called coca-cola his state department, because when he went to a foreign country he could ask the coca-cola people for the lowdown on the politics and everything else and they would know it better than anyone else. i thought i would mention that here.
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at the carter center. [laughter] mr. pendegrast: with that, i think i will turn this off and thank you very much for your attention this long. [applause] host: we have time for questions please raise your hand and wait for the microphone and then ask your question. audience member: you mentioned that coke zero had the original cocoa flavoring, as opposed to diet coke which does not, can you address why it has more caffeine than coke zero? mr. pendegrast: i did not know that. audience member: diet coke has 46 milligrams and coke zero has 34 milligrams, as does the drink you are thinking. mr. pendegrast: i have no idea why. why do you think? audience member: to keep you
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jittery. [laughter] mr. pendegrast: that could well be the case. [laughter] see, i do not know everything about coca-cola. audience member: my question is, i just two weeks ago toward the corporate headquarters of coca-cola, so it is weird seeing their version of coca-cola and this version and i had a couple of comments, because they gave me some facts and maybe you know or don't know -- on the times article with the world and coca-cola, they originally wanted robert woodruff to be on the cover, but he did not want to be. so they put the symbol. machineshe freestyle and the modern machines, it is renting them, you cannot buy them from coca-cola. so with high tech technology
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--t no mr. pendegrast: you are right. robert woodruff was known as mr. anonymous, he did not like attention. and he did not want to be on the cover of time. and he did not want people asking him for money. when an article was written called the millionaire nobody knows, woodruff was not that happy about it. but let me say, you did not take a tour of the corporate headquarters, you took a tour of the coca-cola museum, is that right? [indiscernible] mr. pendegrast: oh, you really did go to the corporate headquarters? i am impressed. the world of coca-cola museum, every time i go i asked the guys whether coca-cola ever had cocaine and they always tell me
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know. [laughter] you know, i say i have not had any in so long, i do not understand why they cannot do that. it sounds like a fascinating tour you have. audience member: very recently, i learned, i read that the person who actually combined the syrup with the carbon dioxide venerablenamed the and i confirmed it with a member of the family. have you heard that? mr. pendegrast: he was the one that ran the soda fountain in 1886, so he was the first person who mixed it together with carbonated water, that is true. that is a mess -- myth coca-cola was accidentally mixed with carbonated water, but it was intended to be mixed with it and that is what venerable did. came out ofrinks
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this tradition of thinking that spas were caused -- at as good for you and then joseph priestly found out how to carbonate things. that is why a lot of the soda fountains were in pharmacies, because it was supposed to be good for you. audience member: i traveled around internationally a lot and i found that every country that i went to, the coca-cola tasted different, does it have to do with the water or the formula? mr. pendegrast: coca-cola is vey proud of the fact that they have a uniform product everywhere in the world. however, i think that the main difference is cane sugar. they put real sugar in coca-cola in many countries in the world, they do not do that and ignited
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dates -- united states, because we have a protective tariff so fructose corn syrup is cheaper, so there is a whole kind of gourmet coca-cola imported from mexico that people will pay money for now. but, it is possible that there are differences i am not aware of. audience member: this is a political question. i think google is a pretty good company in the u.s. -- i think coca-cola is a pretty good company in the u.s. there was a time when you could not buy a bottle if you were an african-american. i have been working with coca-cola in brazil where they have made the largest investment in the world. coca-cola in brazil, brazil is about 50-50 african and caucasian. the africans in brazil are not
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afforded opportunities to advance in coca-cola and we have been trying to tell them the fallacy of that and i hope it does not blow up with the world olympics goinghe to brazil, as we speak. mr. pendegrast: that is correct. you have been an activist trying to get coca-cola to behave itself in terms of racial issues for quite some time, is that correct? audience member: absolutely. itsss coca-cola changes market, they will have problems because most of the ownership -- coke is great in africa, but the ownership of coca-cola africa is outside of africa. i believe in the information age, that will blow up on them. we want to help them, we like coca-cola and we want to help them be a good company. mr. pendegrast: they make a big
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deal of the fact that in africa particularly, they have drink stands that sell a couple of things besides coca-cola and that they really do help many people to make a living. audience member: that is true, but nonetheless the big bucks are being made by the shareholders and the shareholders are not african. we have cautioned coca-cola about that, the restructured -- three structure themselves -- to restructure themselves. we are in the helpful mode, we do not want to get in a mode like litigating, like in brazil. and wetalked to lawyers ended up suing coke. mr. pendegrast: for the racial discrimination lawsuit? audience member: yes. mr. pendegrast: i recall that. i wrote about that. i do not know about brazil.
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let me talk to you after the event, please. audience member: ok. mr. pendegrast: thank you. found yourmber: i presentation fascinating. i am a coca-cola employee and i will be having my 30th anniversary as an employee , so two very small corrections. actually, i agree with you about coke always wanted to have a known product and something that when you get a coke anywhere in the world, you know what you'll get. but we do actually modify it somewhat for local taste. coke in mexico will be a little bit sweeter than somewhere else you go that also uses sugar, but the local taste preference is different. mr. pendegrast: there you go. audience member: second fact, you can get coca-cola in cuba. i have been there twice and he can purchase it without problem, the difference is it is sold
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by our mexican buyers, so there is no direct relationship with the same kind of commerce in cuba, but mexico has good relations with cuba. mr. pendegrast: so you do not have to buy it on the black market? , it is inember: note it restaurants. ists, it is- for tour easy to find. mr. pendegrast: i wonder if that is true in north korea? [laughter] audience member: i do not know. [laughter] mr. pendegrast: thank you. understandmber: i that there are people who have seen the original formula of coca-cola. not the original, but the present formula for coca-cola. atlanta --geffen of
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could pass on judgment whether it was kosher for passover. that has been a legend in atlanta and i know that coca-cola sells coke for passover that orthodox jews do consume. mr. pendegrast: let me interrupt you a second. the rabbi thats did verify that it was kosher in the 1930's and it was very important that he did so. they did not give him the formula, they gave him the ingredients. it is an important distinction. i looked through his papers very carefully and i am pretty sure about this. they did change the formula, because of him. they had glycerin from animal fat and they changed it. let me mention one thing really interesting. i said that coca-cola is that wasn't doing well -- was doing
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well in nazi germany. a competitor came to the u.s. and went on a tour of a coca-cola bottling plant in new york and he slipped up -- swoope d up all caps that had the kosher sign on them and made a huge stink about how coca-cola was a jewish drink, inside germany. audience member: i wanted to ask you, i am a shareholder and coca-cola since i retired, and i go to their animal meetings -- annual meetings in atlanta. do you comment on the old network amongst the directors where it is self-perpetuating. now they are beginning to get newer blood, but it is still in old boy network. i wonder if you comment on my. -- on that. mr. pendegrast: i comment that
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they have a rather elderly board of directors. that is as far as i went. i went to the meeting last year. i did not go to the one this year. it was interesting, the one last year, the killer coke people had coordinated a thing -- point of order, new life. did they do that this year? audience member: yes. [laughter] is coke'sember: what relationship with emery and georgia tech university? mr. pendegrast: i do not know as much about georgia tech, but i do know that going back to handler, he gave $1 million to emery at oxford to help him move to atlanta. and then robert woodruff gave a huge amount, millions to emory. emory has always been known as
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coca-cola university. i do not know as much about georgia tech, you could probably tell me. audience member: i know that the architect, smith, who did the bottle buildings also did the georgia tech campus. mr. pendegrast: that would make sense. they are all near each other. host: one more question. mr. pendegrast: two more questions. audience member: first, fortunately if anybody cares, i find you can get coca-cola with sugar in the ethnic section and it is only one dollar. otherwise, was there a process of keeping the classic coke and the new coke, or once they brought a classic back, the new
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coke died out? mr. pendegrast: they did keep both for quite some time. refused to admit that new coke was a failure. the ceo drink the coke himself and said this is the real coca-cola and we just got back few whossic, for the preferred it. but it did not do well. i thought what you are going to ask was, did they consider keeping the old coke and coming out with new coke in the first place? they did consider that. but they quickly rejected it, because it would have split the market and they would've had to coca-cola's, which was inconceivable to them. and it was quite possible that pepsi would have surpassed one or the other of them as the best-selling soft drink in the country. now, pepsi is the third best selling soft drink in the
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country. coca-cola is number one and diet coke is number two. [laughter] mr. pendegrast: last question. audience member: i know that santa has quit smoking cigarettes in the ads, i was wondering if there was progress on santa reducing his coke intake and lose some weight? [laughter] mr. pendegrast: that is a brilliant idea. wouldn't that make a great ad campaign, santa drinking coke zero and slimming down. i think that you are onto something. [laughter] mr. pendegrast: perhaps you will take this back to the company. thank you very much. i believe that is about it. [applause] it has been a fascinating
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evening. if you do not have a copy of "for god, country, and coca-cola", i encourage you to get one. let's i was seeing you out there then. thank you. >> on history bookshelf here from the country's best-known history writers. you can watch any of our programs at any time.
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maz kanata is a former crime reporter. she tells the stories about those who are involved in the lincoln assassination. the actors performing in our american cousin. the peterson family owners of the boardinghouse where lincoln died. this is an hour-long event. >> good evening. it is my pleasure to welcome you to our talk. i want to acknowledge a special guests that we have with us tonight.


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