latest news

Bullrunning - on the Coke side of life
06 February 2007

ICABS has challenged the Coca Cola company on its latest television advert which includes a bullrunning scene. In a letter to their head office in Atlanta, we highlighted the cruelty of bullrunning and asked for the offensive portion of the ad to be edited out. As part of our appeal, we also flagged the extreme danger to human participants and detailed how an American man was left paralysed after being hit during last year's bullrun festival in Pamplona.

The advert, currently being aired on Irish TV, revolves around a man who gets to drink coke for the first time. This prompts him to wonder what other new experiences he has missed out on throughout his life. One of these is running with the bulls at a bullrunning festival - a scene from the ad shows him running down a narrow street with the bulls in pursuit. The ad ends with the statement - "Live on the Coke side of life".

The company has been told about the reality of bullrunning:

  • Electric shock prods are used to frighten the bulls into stampeding
  • Along the route, the bulls are at risk of sustaining injuries, including broken bones
  • Bulls used in the bullrun will later be brutally killed in a bullring
  • Over the years, numerous people have been injured at the bullrun; at least thirteen have died as a result.

ICABS has reminded Coca Cola of a statement they made to us back in 2004. Responding to our appeal for a Coca Cola banner to be removed from a bullring in Barcelona, a spokesperson assured us that "the Coca-Cola Company has a policy in force stating that our operations would not associate itself where there is a risk of physical harm to animals."

In our latest letter to the company, ICABS stated: "Bullrunning involves significant 'physical harm to animals' and it seems to us that featuring this activity in your advertisement is contrary to the aforementioned policy. We wish to appeal to Coca Cola to eliminate the bullrunning scene from the advert in question - both in the interests of animal welfare and human safety."

Other major companies who have publicised bullrunning in the recent past include Ryanair (they gave extensive coverage to the Pamplona bullrun in their inflight magazine last year) and the HP printer company (an online HP radio ad referred to photos taken of "Uncle Jack running with the bulls in Pamplona").

Scene from Coca Cola advert
Scenes from the current Coca Cola advert - A man contemplating a visit to a bullrun after drinking Coca Cola.

Scene from Coca Cola advert
The man running down a street with the bulls in pursuit.

Scene from Coca Cola advert
The man running away from one of the bulls.


Thank you to everyone who contacted Coca Cola. ICABS has welcomed the company's decision to remove the bullrun segment from the advert.

News Menu | Join | Top | Home