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By Jack Griffin, VI Form
The Rise of Coca-Cola via Early 20th Century Advertising
Editor’s Note: This paper was completed as a part of the History Research Fellowship, a one-semester course available to sixth form students.
The year was 1950 when America began attacking the French economy. This was by no means a conventional attack, and the United States government played no part in this decision. Instead, the American people were furious with France because it had banned the sale of all Coca-Cola products within its borders. Given that the brand had become a pillar of American identity, the French Parliament passed the ban in order to stop the wave of Americanization sweeping through Europe.
When the French Parliament’s decision reached the U.S. on March 1, 1950, the American press began a vicious assault. “The Washington News complained about ‘the arrogantly superior French habit of snooting at our beverages, soft and hard, as so much dishwater.’” Other media comments ranged from “puzzled amusement” to New York’s Daily News suggesting “cutting off aid under the Marshall Plan.” The Coca Cola corporation played no part in inflaming the nation, but the United States saw an attack on Coca-Cola as an attack on the American way of life.(more…)