Coke Confuses Pittsburgh With Philadelphia Months Into Its Soda-Tax Fight

Oops. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Coca-Cola is clearly not a fan of Philadelphia’s soda tax, and has been waging a war to repeal the law ever since it passed last June. (It spent at least $9 million on paid media opposing the law, and is part of a lobby group that’s still suing the city on grounds that the tax is unconstitutional.) Given this obvious familiarity, Coke’s official Twitter account posted an item on Sunday that made the brand look pretty silly. In a tweet that’s still up, the soda-maker encouraged people in Pittsburgh, a separate city in the state of Pennsylvania, to cool off during a record-hot weekend by cracking open a cold Coke product.

The problem was an incredibly conspicuous GIF that somebody created for the tweet — it suggested that Coca-Cola might want to brush up on its fourth-grade U.S. geography:

But Coke still may have done Pittsburghers some good. That tweet got such an ice-cold reception by Pittsburghers who’ve never seen their hometown so maligned, there’s no way these people could have felt any warmth:

The mayor’s offices of both cities got involved eventually, too. From Pittsburgh, Bill Peduto responded directly on Twitter, writing, “I was elected to represent the people of Pittsburgh, not Philadelphia,” a double dig at Coke and President Trump, who announced America’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord by saying, “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”

It was Philly mayor Jim Kenney’s press secretary who really hit below the belt, though:

A rep for Coke has apologized, explaining that the mix-up occurred because the company is “exploring innovative, adaptive technologies to serve up personalized content to our fans.” In this case, she said, Coke’s map “accidentally missed the mark — literally.”

Coke Tweet Confuses Maps of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia