Coke Mole Ferreted Out

According to USA Today, a woman working at Coca-Cola headquarters in Atlanta allegedly lifted trade secrets (including new product samples) and tried to sell them to Pepsi for measly sums.
But Pepsi wasn’t havin’ it.

Three people have been arrested and charged with stealing confidential information about drink recipes from The Coca-Cola and trying to sell it to rival PepsiCo, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.
They are expected to appear before a federal magistrate judge on Thursday in Atlanta.
Pepsi spokesman Dave DeCecco said his company did what any responsible company would do in cooperating with Coke and the investigation.
“Competition can sometimes be fierce, but also must be fair and legal,” DeCecco said. “We’re pleased the authorities and the FBI have identified the people responsible for this.”

You know someone in Pepsi wanted those files. It’s natural to want them.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. “Competition can sometimes be fierce, but also must be fair and legal.”
    This makes me think of a classic story involving Coke and Pepsi. For many years, Pepsi dominated in a certain Venezuelan market (or some other South American country). Coke tried everything, from promotions to sports tie-ins and more. But no matter what they did, Pepsi continued to kick Coke’s ass. Finally, Coke solved the problem. The solution? Coke bought the Venezuelan Pepsi bottling plant, then effectively shut it down.
    Coke definitely uses its mammoth clout and power to regularly crush competition in many more ways. It’s all fair and legal. But the definitions of fair and legal have definitely been stretched when players like Coke and Pepsi are involved.