The Mary T. and Frank L.
Letters and Responses
On 14 April 1998 Coca-Cola issued a press release concerning a reception they were holding in connection with their sponsorship of "Art of Harmony: An Art Competition". They said, 'The Art of Harmony program is designed to encourage artistic self-expression while promoting the theme "Living in Harmony" '. This program, sponsored among high school students, is the positive type of youth program that is desperately needed.
The Foundation's Letter:
May 9, 1998
Mr. M. Douglas Ivester, Chairman/CEO
One Coca-Cola Plaza
Atlanta, GA 30313
Dear Mr. Ivester:
We are happy to see the Coca-Cola Companys sponsorship of a program such as the "Art of Harmony" art competition held in New York City last month. This type of activity helps to restore positive relationships and to promote care and responsibility of our environment.
It is imperative that responsible people promote these peaceful and positive types of activities. Anyone can achieve more and become an asset to their community when they are encouraged. A lack of self-worth and repeated exposure to violence and decay leads to a persons frustration, which in turn leads to further violence and destruction of lives and property. We applaud you in this effort.
Personally, I am a professional watercolor landscape artist. My paintings are intended to promote a loving, compassionate and peaceful awareness of all of Gods creation. I am pleased that several of my paintings are in your Atlanta Headquarters, hopefully helping to make your surroundings more peaceful.
With the above thoughts in mind, dont you think that your sponsorship of bull fighting is inconsistent, as bull fighting promotes taking pleasure in violence, cruelty and death?
The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation
Mary T. Hoffman
The reply from The Coca-Cola Company:
June 17, 1998
Dear Ms. Hoffman:
Thank you for your letter concerning our Company's involvement with the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association CIRCA). We certainly applaud your concern for the welfare of animals and assure you that The Coca-Cola Company is also highly sensitive to their safety and well-being.
From our experience, the members of the PRCA show tremendous concern and provide outstanding care to their horses and livestock, abiding by PRCA rules for prevention of injury.
Because I am certain the PRCA would like to be aware of your interest, I am including their address so that you may direct your concerns to their office. Then, they will be able to assure you that all PRCA horses and livestock are given proper care.
Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association
101 Pro Rodeo Drive
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80919
Your concern for the proper treatment of animals is a commendable cause. We appreciate your interest in our Company.
Consumer Affairs Specialist
We find it a tragedy that a company the size of Coca-Cola, who is primarily dealing directly with the consumers of its products, would assign such a letter to an individual who didn't even take the time to read it and address the issues directly, but rather just sent out a form letter that has nothing to do with the subject of our letter, as a simple way of not facing the real problem.
The good side of this reply, is that they are telling us that they also sponsor rodeos, another cruel sport.
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