The internet advertisement features a fictional female character which the beverage giant argued was simply “dressed in jeans and a top in line with accepted fashion”.
But what offended the person who filed the complaint was the fact that, if a number of questions posed on the website are answered in a certain way, the woman is suddenly standing near a bed wearing only a bra and panties.
While Coca-Cola chose not to comment on that specific aspect of the internet ad campaign, it explained that the website was supposed to create an image of how life should be.
According to the complaint, Coke’s imaginary, worry-free life was therefore about sex without foreplay.
The company countered, however, that it was trying to portray a world in which the weekends never end.
Coke admits that the Zero website is “boorish in tone” but denies that it is at all insulting. Rather “the woman is portrayed as a self-reliant person with an obvious right to place demands in her relationships,” according to the soft drink maker.
But ERK viewed the advert differently, finding it insulting to women in general. In addition, the ad was guilty of preserving outdated views on gender roles and humiliating for both women and men, according to ERK.
And the new reprimand for gender discrimination isn’t the first for a Coke Zero ad campaign in Sweden.
In December, ERK ruled against an ad featuring a guy breaking up with his girlfriend who says she understands because “there are so many girls to choose from”.
The man then leaves the restaurant in the company of four scantily clad women.
The original offender: Coke Zero spot