- A North Carolina county banned Coca-Cola vending machines in the wake of the Georgia voting law.
- Surry County officials voted to remove them after Coca-Cola’s negative comments, NBC News reported.
- The Georgia law “is unacceptable, it is a step backward,” Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey told CNBC.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Officials in a North Carolina county removed Coca-Cola vending machines from their offices after the soda-maker’s chief executive spoke out against a voting law in Georgia
In a letter sent to Coca-Cola executives, a Surry County official said Coca-Cola’s comments on Georgia’s controversial voting law were a “disappointment,” NBC News reported.
“Our Board hopes that other organizations across the country are taking similar stances against Coca-Cola and sincerely wishes that future marketing efforts and comments emanating from your company are more considerate of all your customers’ viewpoints,” Eddie Harris, Surry County commissioner, wrote in a letter viewed by NBC’s “Today.”
Critics said the Georgia law, SB 202, “The Election Integrity Act of 2021,” added restrictions to the voting process that amounted to voter suppression. President Joe Biden in a statement in March said the law was “a blatant attack on the Constitution and good conscience.”
Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey joined a handful of high-profile company executives in denouncing the law earlier this year, with many saying it restricted the right to vote. Coca-Cola is headquartered in Georgia.
“Let me be crystal clear and unequivocal, this legislation is unacceptable, it is a step backward,” Quincey told CNBC in late March.
Apple CEO Tim Cook also commented on the law, saying it “ought to be easier than ever for every eligible citizen to exercise their right to vote.”
The move by North Carolina officials followed a call from former President Donald Trump in April to boycott “woke” companies opposing the law.
Trump’s comments came after Major League Baseball relocated its All-Star game out of Georgia. He urged conservatives to “fight back” by boycotting Coca-Cola, Delta, JPMorgan Chase, and other companies that opposed the law.
NBC News reported on Friday that Surry County officials said Coca-Cola supported the “out-of-control cancel culture and bigoted leftist mob” that fought back against the law.
“We decided we wanted to push back against this woke cancel culture, push back against Coca-Cola, because they were one of the ones out front,” Harris told Fox News on Friday.
He said he’d received hundreds of emails in support of the ban, which he said could lead to a boycott of the company. He said local citizens supported the removal.
“They’re absolutely sick and tired of this outrageous left-wing mob that is attacking freedom of speech, attacking people’s jobs, that is completely out of control in this country,” Harris told Fox News.
In statements to Fox News and NBC News, Coca-Cola said its local staffers had reached out to county commissioners about the ban.
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