Coca-Cola's old slogan is familiar enough: "Things go better with Coke." But the word at Columbia Pictures these days seems more like "things better go with Coke."
That, at least, is the bottom line of a memo written by Columbia president Frank Price early this week and distributed throughout the company--which was purchased by the Coca-Cola Co. in January. There is a line in Columbia's big summer musical, "Annie," that praises Little Orphan Annie by comparing her to a glass of Coke and now it appears as if Columbia employes had better start watching what they drink.
Price's memo says the studio corridors had better not contain any Pepsi, or any other products of PepsiCo (whose other products include Fritos corn chips and Stolichnaya vodka). Likewise out of favor are 7-Up and all other products from its manufacturer, Philip Morris. Even the color blue--at least the shade of the Pepsi logo--is in disfavor these days. "Whenever possible," says the memo, "we are urged not to use Pepsi blue colors in meetings or in decorating for social functions."
The memo doesn't suggest that Columbia paint its offices Coca-Cola red but it does put Coke, Tab and Sprite atop a list of recommended beverages. Reads part of Price's memo, a copy of which was obtained by the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner: "One of the first questions asked by Coca-Cola representatives when booking a property is whether or not it carries their soft drinks in the vending machines, in room service and in the food and beverage outlets. There are many times when Coca-Cola has found it necessary to convert a hotel from competitive product to its products for the duration of a meeting."
Price also suggests more than just Coke instead of Pepsi: He encourages Fanta tonics, Minute Maid orange juice and the wines in which Coca-Cola has an interest (including Sterling Vineyard, Cinzano, Monterey Vineyards and Taylor and Taylor California Cellars). But the company is lenient in a few cases: Canada Dry and Schweppes mixers are okay in a pinch, it seems, and if Minute Maid isn't available a substitute is acceptable--but only if the labels aren't visible. "When Minute Maid products are not available," cautions Price, "orange juice and other juices should be put into a carafe or other generic containers."