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Published On: Tue, Sep 24th, 2013

Coca-Cola apologizes for ‘You Retard’ phrase under Vitamin Water cap, it’s a problem with their French

A Canadian woman didn’t get a prize giveaway or a secret code under the cap of her Vitamin Water.

Instead, Blake Loates of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada told ABC News she was shocked when she opened her bottle of Vitamin Water and read the words, “You Retard” written on the inside.

You Retard Coca Cola VItamin water capThe choice of words was particularly hurtful to the family, as one of Loates’ sisters has cerebral palsy and autism.

Loates’ father, Doug of Tacoma, Washington, wrote a lengthy letter of complaint to Coca-Cola, which Blake Loates posted on her Facebook page.

“What would you do if you opened up your bottle of Vitamin Water and on the bottom of the lid it read, “YOU RETARD”?” Doug Loates wrote in his letter swearing off the beverage company for life. “Think about it. I bet you’d be pissed off if you had a Fiona in your life… Can you imagine if SHE had opened this bottle?”

“You see, the ‘R’ word is considered a swear word in out family. We don’t use it. We don’t tolerate others using it around us,” wrote Loates’ father.

Loates finishes the letter with this signature, “Doug Loates – An ex-Coke drinker. P.S. Here is Fiona. Can you imagine if SHE had opened this bottle???” A picture of Fiona was attached next to a photo of the bottle cap.

Coca-Cola has since issued an apology. “We have spoken to the family to offer our sincerest apologies and to explain the production process to them,” Shannon Denny, director of brand communications for Coca-Cola Refreshment Canada, told ABC News.

“This is certainly not an excuse in any way for what has occurred. We wanted them to know that this was in no way intentional and was a mistake on our part during the review process. We also wanted to share that the promotion has since been canceled and we are no longer producing bottles with those caps.”

“We have spoken to the family to offer our sincerest apologies and to explain the production process to them,” Shannon Denny, director of brand communications for Coca-Cola Refreshment Canada, told ABC News.

“This is certainly not an excuse in any way for what has occurred. We wanted them to know that this was in no way intentional and was a mistake on our part during the review process. We also wanted to share that the promotion has since been canceled and we are no longer producing bottles with those caps.”

Representatives for Coca-Cola have since stated that the language inside of the cap was the product of a competition pairing one random English word with a second random French word. In French, “retard” means “late” or “delayed.” The word’s English connotation was missed during the review process, said a spokesperson.

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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