Globalization: Soft Drink and Coca Cola

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Globalization is defined as the spread of worldwide practices, relations, consciousness, and organization of social life.  Globalization theory emerged as the result of real world concerns with the dramatic transformations of globalization as well as a reaction against the earlier perspective of modernization theory.  Globalization can be analyzed culturally, economically, and politically. Some cultural theorists see globalization as producing homogeneity as a consequence of cultural imperialism while others see it as producing distinctive local forms. It is the process completed in the twentieth century by which the capitalist world-system spreads across the actual globe. Since that world-system has maintained some of its main features over several centuries, globalization does not constitute a new phenomenon. At the turn of the twenty-first century, the capitalist world economy is in crisis; therefore, according to the theory's leading proponent, the current "ideological celebration of so-called globalization is in reality the swan song of our historical system" (I. Wallerstein, 1998: 32). Globalization has impacted strongly on the Coco Cola Company which is one of the largest Multinational Cooperation around the world today. The Coca-Cola logo is one of the world’s most recognised trademarks and an indicator of the extent of Coca-Cola’s penetration into communities across the world. It was created in Atlanta, Georgia by Dr. John S. Pemberton and is simply often referred to as Coke. It was first offered as a fountain beverage by mixing Coca Cola syrup and carbonated water. It is sold in stores, restaurants and vending machines in over 200 different countries. The Company is one that has been around for over 100 years. Coke is a drink that spans all ages, colours, races, and countries. They have on occasion, introduced other cola drinks under the Coke brand name. The most common of these is Diet Coke which has become a major diet cola. Other worldwide brands are Dasani drinking water, Sprite, Minute Maid and Coke Zero. The actual production and distribution of Coca Cola follows a franchising model, which is then sold to various licensed bottlers throughout the world. MNE’s such as Mc Donald’s, Subway, Church’s Chicken and others also franchises Coca Cola along with the other products that they produce. The marketing strategies used were to make coke the global brand it is today. The Political aspect of globalisation comes into play in theory and in reality. In theory Coca Cola as with all major corporations has to deal with the political rules that all nations employ. There are different regulations that apply in all 200 nations that Coke does business in and this is a theory that can be accepted through logic. In reality however, there is a political problem that Coca Cola is constantly faced with and that is in the area of public relations. As the company has globalised it has fallen victim to many critics worldwide. In India for example, Coca Cola has been attacked for: depleting water resources, contaminating the water resources that remain, polluting the physical area in communities near its factories, and lacing drinks with high levels of pesticides. Coca Cola's bottling plants in India are the target of many community-led campaigns, accusing the company of worsening water shortages in areas where it operates and polluting the scarce remaining water and soil. These accusations expound on the idea of globalization because they are only found in India. Pepsi has also been accused with political and ethical issues in India. There were ethical issues surrounding Pepsi India which conducted an aggressive marketing campaign which defaced the environment in India. Pepsi sells upwards of 160 million cases annually through 750,000 retail outlets across India. The principal moral agents involved are Pepsi marketing personnel, presumably in India, and those they hired to paint rocks with colorful Pepsi advertising in the...
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