Pardon their French? Coca-Cola recently issued an apology to a family after one member purchased a Vitaminwater with a bottle cap bearing an offensive message.
Blake Loates of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada told Metro Calgary she was shocked when she opened her beverage and read the words “YOU RETARD,” written inside of the cap. The language was particularly painful to her and her family as one of Loates’ younger sisters, Fiona, 11, has cerebral palsy and autism.
The cap inspired Loates’ father, who lives in Tacoma, Wash., to issue a lengthy letter of complaint to Vitaminwater’s parent company Coca-Cola.
“What would you do if you opened up your bottle of Vitamin Water and on the bottom of the lid it read, “YOU RETARD”?” Doug Loates wrote in his letter swearing off the beverage company for life. “Think about it. I bet you’d be pissed off if you had a Fiona in your life… Can you imagine if SHE had opened this bottle?”
The Loates family did not immediately respond to ABC News’ requests for comment.
Representatives for Coca-Cola have since stated that the language inside of the cap was the product of a competition pairing one random English word with a second random French word. In French, “retard” means “late” or “delayed.” The word’s English connotation was missed during the review process, said a spokesperson. More.