May 7, 2014
Diet Coke ads with the line “You’re on” are being replaced after bloggers mocked the campaign for allegedly being a reference to cocaine use. As The New York Times reports, the Coca-Cola Company introduced the ads only three months ago but today replaced them with its “Just for the taste of it” theme, which introduced Diet Coke in 1983 and has been revived several times since then.
The “You’re on” ads presented Diet Coke as a pick-me-up for young strivers, with lines like “How go-getters get going,” and “You’ve got an 8 a.m. interview, a perfect black suit and three letters in your future: C.E.O.” “When it’s time to be on,” an announcer proclaimed in a TV spot, “it’s time for Diet Coke. You’re on.”
Several bloggers who write about advertising and marketing noticed that in some ads the theme appeared above the Diet Coke logo, so that it could be read as “You’re on Diet Coke.” They claimed the words evoked a cocaine habit — echoing the history of Diet Coke’s older sibling Coca-Cola, which once included the drug as an ingredient.
In a statement Coca-Cola said that it “in no way endorses or supports the use of any illegal substance.” — Greg Beaubien