First Draft


The Language of Nothing



Corporate values are said to be the philosophy of the 21st Century. So, ladies and gentlemen, we are all in very deep shit. Now, seeing that these values do not exist and I’ve got myself a taste for absurdism from watching prime mister’s question time, I decided that a description of a non-existent concept would make a good read. It did. Especially from a language point of view. It’s a sample of abused words and ideals. A rollercoaster of bullshit leaving the audience with an aftertaste of betrayal and foreboding. Bit like the Libdem’s party programme.


I have got a little black notebook for the best quotes from desperate corporate public relations spokespeople. I collect them like other people collect stamps. Numbers one to ten on my “best of” list are from Coca Cola. I noticed this trend and decided to conduct an investigation to see how far it validates my hypothesis. Conclusion: the company is one big asylum. Here is the log of my experiment. I ask for, and receive, an interview with their head of PR. I start describing the content of my recently published book “Belching out the Devil”. When I start talking about my experiences with the firm in Columbia the lady stops me and says “we at Coca Cola live our values”. I inquire, politely, without any traces of sarcasm in my voice, as to the nature of these values. “To be part of the Coca Cola Company” she explains with an indulgent smile, is to “inspire creativity, passion, optimism and fun”. I reply, keeping an absolutely straight face, that I agree that their summer adverts definitely inspire passion. She agrees that their “message” is well represented by last years advertisements, and on my way out, she adds that she herself designed its colour scheme and recommends that I look at the values on their website to “ deepen your understanding of our philosophy” . She trusts that I will come to understand “the error of my ways”. In those words. I am left slightly disturbed.


At this point, the story reaches a new level of madness. Her came directly off the companies Values’ section. Word for word. Part of the institution’s values is that “the attitudes and behaviours required of us is to live our values” which require you to “be the brand” which requires said employee to “inspire creativity, passion, optimism and fun”.


Now, I take several issues with these “values”. First, why does have the register of a pact with a religious sect? Employees no longer follow workplace polices they “live our values” which the pronoun “our” coerces them to accept as values they share with a group, singling out the individual that does not conform. It speaks directly to the employee “they are everybody else’s values but are they yours? Are they? Are they? You traitor, you will burn forever in a hell run by smiling cartoon animals that will stab at you as you  slowly sink into a fizzing, brown, acidic marsh”. Or something along those lines. Moving on to “creativity, optimism and fun” There is so much to say on that one. I know people that are creative and passionate. Strangely, they are neither optimistic and no “fun” unless they are drunkenly trying to explain the romantics’ anticipation of Marxism to a street lantern. It is almost as if the advertisement executive writing this just lined up words with positive and youthful associations and limited the code meaning of the words taking away their depth.

 The genius in this device is that to one audience, the employees, it means “conform to our ideology and work ethic or we will find someone else for the job”. The other audience, the consumers, are meant to be attracted to the (false) “liberal” idea that artsy individualism is profitable. You don’t have to study language to pick up on the fact that the different messages are transmitted through the different power relationships created by the context of the text. They are rules to one group and advertisements for the other. The fact that both ends are achieved by the same text is a credit to Coca Cola’s PR department. What I, and the Coca Cola value page, are both saying is that if you join the company you must either assimilate these values or bring them with you from your own asylum.


The word “portfolio” also makes the company sound young, liberal and independent because it is associated with art. Turns out bureaucrats are artist. Good to know.  They also have new age going through their action plan for 2020. It is not an action plan but a “road map for winning” so it’s a map for a VW microbus on its way to Shangri-La. Telling people to “be the brand” reminds me of this friend who used to live in Hyde Park in a tent in order to “be the city”. But then he was never sober and a twenty year old philosophy undergrad. What is their excuse? Unless… it is not a company policy but it is an example of a multinational commercialising indie culture in order to score points with a generation of politically correct, international, emotionally and socially educated consumers. You know, the kind of people that believe they are politically engaged by “making a difference” with amnesty petitions.


So, it turns out Corporate values are not the philosophy of the 21st Century. The language outlining Coca Cola’s values was magically crafted to carry absolutely no philosophical meaning. I’m not a philosopher or a linguist but, as your humble comedian, I think I speak for all of us when I say “What’s new?”.Its not as if they are going to list neoliberalism as their central value and explain its social and environmental implications. So, being the good citizen that I am, I wrote it for them. It’s called “Belching out the Devil” and it’s not exactly good PR for the multlinational. But then that was the point.


Final Draft


I chose this speech looking for language to qualify Coca Cola as an Ideological State Apparatus. I thought that Muhtar Kent, CEO of Coca Cola, would be likely to represent the ideology[1] perpetuated by the firm more overtly when addressing an audience of businessmen and shareholders than he would addressing, for example, the world press. The representation of ideology in his speech is significant to this paper because I will examine the language used by Kent under the principles outlined by Louis Althusser in his essay on Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses[2]. I expect to find that it qualifies Coca Cola as a constituent part of the communications Ideological State Apparatus.

The essence of the theory outlined by Althusser in 1907 supports the view that if the linguistic devices used in the speech suggest that Coca Cola functions by ideology [3] then the corporation qualifies as an Ideological State Apparatus.













An Ideological State Apparatus creates a reality which is depicted as the norm, as the only true reality, into which those subjected to its media are interpellated[4]. This occurs on a subconscious level through the pragmatic code of the piece of discourse. Therefore, I will examine the use of pragmatics in the speech. Coca Cola being a multinational corporation, I expect the “pleasures of the text” to take form as the listeners desire for the brand identity. Ideology represents the standing of a person in the world; it defines status and identity and is therefore closely linked to power and hierarchy.














The Voice and Audience Positioning

How the representative of an ISA is depicted in order to obtain power over his listeners will have parallels to how the ideal reader becomes a subject of ideology. These parallels will provide evidence supporting the hypothesis that Coca Cola is an ISA.

The assumed voice, the persona, of the speaker, is written to create an image of a soothing, infallible but familiar authority. Upward divergence in the form of polysyllabic Greek or Latinate words and the use of traditional clichés are used to achieve authority. The use of the inclusive “we” and personable, colloquial vocabulary is used for the reassuring and familiar quality of the voice. The latter is not a traditional device for achieving power. However, in the last two decades, especially advertisements also other elements of what Althusser defines as the communications ISA, have begun to use a more familiar tone in their discourse.

 Kent uses jargon and polysyllabic Greek words such as “synergistic”. This could be because he is among specialists or because the word cooperation cannot be turned into adjective. “We see an incredibly potent, synergistic effect when large and small businesses come together to leverage their collective strengths”. He could, however, have expressed this meaning in a simpler way. Words like “governance models” “strategic expansion” and “contour bottle” are practical lexical choices for communicating Kent’s agenda but they also qualify him as competent and powerful. That lexical fields like jargon are more powerful can be traced back to the role of ideology in maintaining the hierarchy of the status quo; the language of the specialist bourgeois has more rank than, for example, a working class dialect word like “scallywag”. Kent has to represent his rank as CEO to maintain his status in ideology and therefore has to formulate his agenda in jargon for his lexis to be appropriate to the context.

The promise of inclusion is a major and the threat of exclusion plays on a powerful psychological drive, the need to be socially accepted. Colloquial language is inclusive and Kent’s tone is familiar. He uses contractions every time it is possible. He is careful not to sound clinical or formal; he speaks of “about 15 billion dollars”, giving the impression that a number that will have been researched for the speech is a fallible estimate. He often addresses his audience directly, using phrases like “If you’re wondering”, and makes an attempt at youthful glamour when he uses phrases like “check it out”. Promising his audience “a lot of fun” in a professional context also plays at familiarity. Casual language and personal address are a modern development in the communications ISA. The absence of the distanced respect for strangers which is created through formality gives the writer power of the recipient. Informality is inclusive; this may be a device to make the listener feel invited to Coca Cola’s brand identity as “the happiness factory” and can therefore be defined as audience positioning.

 This invitation to join a group of people, and the threat of being left out, is essential to interpolation. Under Althusser’s theory, Kent use of the inclusive pronoun “we” and the possessive pronoun “our” is a device to depict himself as part of the majority, coercing each listener to accept his views in order choose to join his group. This group alternately Atlanta, America and Coca Cola and often a blend of the three. As the subject will also want to stand for the positive attributes Kent associates these groups with there is an element of hailing to this device. First, in “we owe a vast debt to…our veterans” “we” is definitely “we, the Americans.” In his list of the reasons America is still a superpower the “we” is also American. Then in “we lit up North Avenue” “we” is Coca Cola. When Kent emotively states that “(he) believe(s) our best days are ahead” Kent probably means both Atlanta and Coca Cola, perhaps also America. Merging the three groups together is rhetorically effective because it reinforces the sense of comradeship and togetherness which is essential to interpellation. This will be especially effective on Atlanta businesspeople, his main audience, as it is likely that they already feel attached to Atlanta and America and, as businesspeople, are likely to sympathise with Coca Cola as a symbol of the free market economy. Having accepted the idea pragmatically suggested by Kent, that they are part a single group, it follows that he is the voice of this group and that the ideas suggested by Kent are the accepted norm followed by this group. This falls under Althusser’s definition of interpolation.

Coca Cola is a corporation that has mastered advertising and holds one of the most effective brand identities worlds wide; their speechwriters know more subtle ways of persuasion than grand and emotive metaphors. The metaphors Kent uses are flamboyant and emotive. Kent uses phrases like “the great phoenix that rose from the ashes” “fountain of the future” which are almost dramatic. Metaphors like “unlocking the code for growth” “the mosaic of social harmony” “resilience is part of our DNA” “Atlanta gave birth to Coca Cola, embraced Coca Cola and loved Coca Cola before any other community in the world” are arguably also uncharacteristic of the corporation’s methods of persuasion. The examples of the persuasive devices listed in this paper are evidence for this. Kent’s rhetoric is therefore purposefully written to draw attention to itself. Kent’s use of obvious and generic rhetoric is used to give his voice authority; the language of rhetoric is closely associated with statesmanship and therefore, with power. Althusser’s definition of the state is that it is where power rightly rests in an ideology ; by using language associated with statesmanship ideology is being used  to give Kent’s his voice authority. Although the metaphor is rhetoric and rhetoric is connected to the image of the statesman, the emotive almost soppy quality of the metaphors is arguably unlike a dignified statesman. Coca Colas image as “the happiness factory” is, however, inextricably connected emotion and pseudo-philosophy (footnote) so that this may be considered as an example of the dominant ideology and Coca Cola brand identity, which may be viewed as an ideology, converging to the language used by the public relations branches of corperations which can arguably be viewed as a genre with its own ideology.

Kent’s lexis is filled with clichés and collocations which, like his metaphors, have emotive qualities and carry associations of state power. Kent speaks of “those (Americans) that came before us”, gives “small expression of gratitude” and uses the phrase “from day one”. The clichéd phrase “those Americans that came before us” is fixed in the language through its use by iconic representatives of state authority (JFK, William J. Clinton); its associations with power and orthodoxy are arguably as strong as its semantic meaning. The other phrases are also part of the vocabulary that is associated with the traditional statesman. 

The role that is chosen in order to convey power illustrates the role of ideology in shaping human relationships through language. The fact that the role is closely orientated around traditional state hierarchy, i.e. that it is built around an orthodox image, illustrates the ideology in the context. However, overt illustrations of hierarchy are no longer politically acceptable so that they have to remain on a code level; the metaphors, clichés and familiar language in Kent’s speech are examples of this familiar audience address which brings ideology to a more personal level.


 Pragmatic Code

The language of public relations relies on the use of pragmatic code and semantic messages. This is comparable to the two levels of meaning in advertisements. It is a euphemistic use of language that enables the speaker to say very little semantically by using positive general terms, and placing the ideological content of a speech in pragmatics, this is the code. This use of language is helpful in perpetuating ideology as the listener’s comprehension of the discourse presupposes a shared understanding of the status quo, a shared ideology. The presupposition that the listener shares the speaker ideas is an essential part of interpellation.

Pragmatically, Kent is using the words “confidence” and “trust” to address criticism. He speaks of “public trust” being at a “historical low”; he is speaking in terms of trust that is not there rather than using the word “distrust”. “Government and Congress,…big business, education, NGOs and… religious institutions” do not “distrust” another institution, the word  “distrust” presupposes a personal, not a professional, relationship ; institutions are likely to express distrust through criticism and  enquiries. The conclusion is therefore that Kent has purposefully avoided using the words “criticism” and “enquiry” by speaking in terms of “confidence” and “trust” [5] that is not there. At this point Kent’s use of pragmatics is only persuasive and cannot be labelled as interpolation.

Kent’s use of the word “confidence” is only displaying something negative as positive. When he moves on to displaying an authoritarian view as humanistic the device becomes more complex than spin. He connects this “lack of confidence” to uprisings in the Middle East and the unrest in the global markets. Semantically, Kent is saying that an uprising is due to the citizens’ lack of trust in their governments. However, given the innocuous quality of this statement and the professional context of the speech it is likely that the statement has another pragmatic meaning. By speaking of uprisings in terms of the citizens’ lack of trust Kent pragmatically puts the citizens at fault. This could be interpreted as authoritarian in a more radical extrapolation of this pragmatic meaning. In an uprising “lack of trust” is expressed as civil disobedience. If distrust is civil disobedience then “trust” is a euphemism for obedience. The meaning of the word “trust” is pragmatically developed into “obedience” which is enforced or obligatory trust. This euphemism confirms Coca Cola’s connection to the ruling ideology which is, at its core, authoritarian and hierarchical in order to reproduce the conditions of production [6] and maintain the status quo.

Kent uses pragmatics to create an elaborate subtext, steering the listeners understanding of the text by using very general, almost philosophical terms such as “a breakdown of social harmony” or “long term trust”. The intended interpretation of these terms can be detected by listeners that are interpolated into the ideology of the text. That they have to find his intended meaning of the text themselves interpolates the listeners more effectively; they are lead to believe that the meaning they hear in the speech is their opinion because they discover it themselves. This use of interpellation suggests that Coca Cola is an ISA; it perpetuates ideology subliminally.








This speech does not carry more or less ideology than any other piece of discourse; it is part of Althusser’s theory that ideology is omnipresent. I was not expecting to find that Coca Cola’s brand identity takes the shape of a distinct ideology with its own linguistic patterns. These make it possible to label it as part of the communications ISA as the creation of a separate ideology suggests that Coca Cola functions through ideology. The authoritarian aspect of the ruling ideology, the bourgeois power, in Kent’s voice supports this view.

During the course of the investigation I disregarded the idea that there are infinite ideologies and that, while there is a dominant ideology that is at the centre of others that is authoritarian and hierarchical, ideology itself is complex and subjective. This shifted my definition of ideology to a specific political bias which I expected to find in the speech. Although it was present in the speech, it was not represented in the linguistic choices made in the speech, which caused me to reconsider the idea of ideology and apply Althusser’s definition of the word rather than my own.
















[1]  “Ideology represents the imaginary relationship of individuals to their real conditions of existence.” It is central to Althusser’s definition of ideology that ideology “represents” the individual’s perspective, which is itself arguably not real or accurate, to the individual. This suggests a mutability of reality which other Marxist philosophers do not account for.

[2] “In order to advance the theory of the state it is indispensible to take into account not only the distinction between state apparatus, but also another reality which is clearly on the side of the (repressive) state apparatus, but must not be confused with it. I shall call this reality by its concept: the ideological state apparatus. The State Apparatus contains the Government, the Administration, the Army, the police, the courts etc. which constitutes what I shall in future call the Repressive State Apparatus. Repressive suggests that the State Apparatus in question “functions by violence” – at least ultimately (since aggression, e.g. administrative repression, may take non-physical forms) I shall call Ideological State Apparatuses a certain number of realities which present themselves to the immediate observer in the form of distinct and specialised institutions. I propose an empirical list : the religious ISA, the educational ISA, the family ISA, the legal ISA, the political ISA, the trade-union ISA, the communications ISA (press, radio, television and the cultural ISA)”

[3] “But now for what is essential. What distinguishes the ISAs from the Repressive State Apparatus is the following basic difference: the Repressive State Apparatus functions “by violence”, whereas the Ideological State Apparatuses function by ideology. I can clarify matters by correcting this distinction. I shall say rather that every State Apparatus, whether Repressive or Ideological, “functions” both by violence and ideology, but with one very important distinction which makes it imperative not to confuse the ideological State Apparatus with the Repressive State Apparatus. This is the fact that the (Repressive) State Apparatus functions massively and predominantly by repression (including physical repression), while functioning secondarily by ideology. (There is no such thing as a purely repressive apparatus.) For example, the army and police also function by ideology both to ensure their own cohesion and reproduction, and in the “values” they propound externally. In the same way, but inversely, it is essential to say that for their part the Ideological State Apparatuses function massively and predominantly by Ideology but they also function secondarily by repression, even if ultimately, but only ultimately, this is very attenuated and concealed, even symbolic (There is no such thing as a purely ideological apparatus) Thus schools and Churches use suitable methods of punishment, expulsion, selection, etc. to discipline not only their shepherds but also their flocks. The same is true of the Family…The same is true of the cultural IS Apparatus (censorship amongst other things)”

[4]  When a text positions its target audience by making the reader the subject so that one cannot easily adopt an alternative position without feeling as an outsider from the “norm” of the constructed reality, the ideology, of the text.

[5] This use of pragmatics is comparable to spin; a message is communicated in terms of the absence of a positive rather than the presence of a negative.  The vet saying that “your dog has just stopped living” rather than saying that your dog has died is an example of this use of pragmatics

[6] “Every child knows that a social formation which did not reproduce the conditions of production at the same time it produced would not  last a year”


The Voice

As I said in my introduction, looking for evidence that “Kent is used as the voice of the company in order to create the image or reflection of a soothing, infallible but familiar authority” one has to look for lexis and syntax that is associated with power and the effect of the voice they create.

Kent’s lexis is filled with clichés and collocations.  Phrases like “those (Americans) that came before us”, “small expression of gratitude” and “from day one” carry associations of orthodoxy, dependability and power. These can be traced to the fact that clichés are used on festive or formal occasions. This cliché has become fixed into the language through its use by famous and powerful representatives of state authority (John F Kennedy and William J. Clinton for example) that its associations with power accompany its semantic meaning.

Kent’s use of repetition can also be put down to the association of rhetoric to power. He flatters his audience by calling them his company’s “leaders, associates, customers, investors, boosters, fans”.  It is significant that the least powerful position is repeated in synonyms while the elliptical sentence structure emphasizes the number of supporters Coca Cola has in Atlanta, which again points to the power of the institution. Other examples of Kent’s use of repetition are lists like “dynamism, vibrancy and hospitality” “big business, education, NGOs and even religious institutions” and “smart, intelligent initiatives”. That many of these words are synonyms suggests that this device is being used to emphasise particular ideas.

 Kent combines this with Ellipsis, another rhetorical device used for breaking the flow of a speech to emphasize particular words. When he speaks of “a group of Americans who, in many cases, risked their very lives to secure a freer, more just and more peaceful world” Kent is making a catatonic reference to “Our Veterans” which he punctuates and reads as a separate elliptical sentence. By placing the words “our veterans” in a sentence by themselves Kent is using Ellipsis to make his praise more dramatic and more serious through the pause before and after the sentence. In other sections of the text he strengthens this effect by listing elliptical sentences.

Kent uses flowery and extensive and highly rhetorical metaphores. When he compares Atlanta to “ a great phoenix that rose from the ashes a century and a half ago” his gives his listeners  pride in their city and its importance through the dramatic quality of his language. Metaphore again adds to the rhetorical element of his language. Other examples of metaphor in the speech are that “resilliance is part of (Coca Cola’s) DNA, that Atlanta “ gave birth to” Coca Cola and that one has to “rekindle and unlock the code for growth”.

Coca Cola : a constructed reality?



When Mr. Kent, the CEO of Coca Cola, addresses a room of shareholders and businessmen his speech is written to establish the power and the political views of his institution as fact. In this paper I will attempt to prove that the linguistic devices he uses, qualify Coca Cola as an Ideological State Apparatus (ISA) under Althhausers theory.


 I will investigate how he draws on  the “imaginary relationship of (the listeners) to their conditions of existence” that is to say, the constructed reality or Ideology his listeners have been socially conditioned to accept as normality ( the “status quo” or the “relations of production”) in order to attain their loyalty and , Althhauser would say, their obedience. I chose this topic because I think that ISA’s are a pernicious influence on the mind and that they use a form of persuasion that relies on subtlety to such a degree that analysis renders it powerless.


In Althhausers theory, an ISA has the same function as a Repressive State Apparatus (RSA); to maintain the status quo only that it “functions through ideology”. He uses the Marxist model of a society; a building with the economy as a base and ideology and political-legal authority as the first and second floor. The economy is referred to as the infrastructure while ideology and political-legal authority combine to make the superstructure or the state.


 An ISA uses political authority and ideology to construct a reality into which those subjected to it are interpolated. Therefore, I will investigate Kent’s speech for ideological references and a pragmatic claim to authority (that is on a par with that which a government exercises over its citizens).






















I chose this speech looking for language to qualify Coca Cola as an ISA on the assumption that Mr. Kent would reveal a more concentrated form of the ideology utilized by the firm addressing an audience of businessmen and shareholders than, for example, in an interview.

My hypothesis is that in order to give his company authority comparable to that of the state (in that its authority is understood and natural) Kent’s speech re-constructs the ruling ideology, on which the states power rests.                    

To support this hypothesis, I will look for powerful ideological references in the assumed voice or persona of the speaker and the reality that is constructed by the persuasive devices he uses. I will do this by investigating the assumed voice of the speaker which is characterized by his prosodic word choice, clichéd idioms, dead metaphors and the lexical fields he moves in with the assumption that they all aim to create an image of a dependable, orthodox, American businessman.

 I will investigate the features of rhetoric in his use of grammatical cohesion, ellipsis and rhetorical questions with the hypothesis that they are used secondarily to persuade and that primarily,they create an image of an orator and his links to power. Rhetoric is an art studied and exercised by a powerful few therefore the language of Rhetoric itself has become associated with power which links back to the image of the conventional authority of the businessman. It is part of Althausers theory that we acquire our identities by seeing ourselves mirrored in our ideology. This means that we recognize others by their reflection in our ideology. The language used in Kent’s speech is calculated to create a reflection of a person that is conventionally a source of authority.


My hypothesis links this to Althauser’s idea that ISAs are materialized (practiced) ideology. This makes Kent’s constructed voice a materialized (anthropomorphic) version of Coca Cola as one of “a certain number of realities” offering themselves to the consumer. It is anthropomorphic in that Kent is used as the voice of the company in order to create the image or reflection of a soothing, infallible but familiar authority.

As to the implication of the institution’s governmental position, I will look in great detail into a euphemism Kent makes in which he uses the words “confidence” and  “public trust“ to talk about criticism that has been leveled at the company. Then he connects this “lack of confidence” to uprisings in the Middle East. The topic areas are logically unconnected but by connecting a “lack of confidence” to something bad Kent removes the original meaning of the phrase and uses it to pragmatically call the criticism of his institution rebellion. This makes Coca Cola a part of The State which Marxist Philosophers define through the fact that it is where power rightly lies within an ideology.                                                               

The uses of devices combining a claim to governmental authority and the creation of a constructed reality would, by definition, qualify Coca Cola as an Ideological State Apparatus.

The Pragmatic Euphemism

The Company’s most explicit claim to government authority is in the form of an extended euphemism. I will investigate the part of pragmatics, connotations and graphology in making the euphemism an effective device for interpolation.

I see these four themes as:

1. Confidence.

2. Governance

3. Social Harmony, and

4. Sustainable Growth

Let’s start with confidence.



Although the intended audience hears the speech and can therefore not see graphological features numbered lists have a similar effect in spoken and written discourse. Kent’s list implies that he is listing key words in rank of their significance and that he will cover all of them. Kent only speaks about confidence and then abandons the structure for which he prepared his audience with the list. This is possible because the speech is spoken ; if it was written the reader would only have to re-read this part of the speech to notice the incongruity of the list and the following argument. That the numbered list is not used  to structure the speech suggests that it is a very subtle rhetorical device. The list creates two effects. For one, it gives the following argument the guise of objectivity because of the structures association with science and logic. Also, the other points in the list disguise Kent’s following discussion of criticism or “confidence” as part of a bigger argument and therefore hides the intention behind his discussion.

the euphemism as interepolation

The Company’s most explicit claim to government authority is in the form of an extended euphemism.

I will investigate the  role of pragmatics, connotations and graphology in making the euphemism an effective device for interpolation.

Operating in 206 countries, though gives us a unique perspective on the world.

I believe that there are four consistent and inter-connected themes that we all need to focus on as we collectively search for ways to rekindle and unlock the code for growth.

I see these four themes as:

1. Confidence.

2. Governance

3. Social Harmony, and

4. Sustainable Growth

Let’s start with confidence.

Public trust in our institutions, as you very well know, has been at historical lows these past few years.

Not just in government and Congress, but in big business, education, NGOs and even religious institutions.

Collectively, we must work to restore trust.

And ensuring long-term trust will require repairing our governance models.

This can’t be done independently by one organization.

It’s going to require continued hard work and cooperation among business,

government and civil society to ensure that we have processes in

place for greater scrutiny and long-term accountability.

The unrest we have seen in Greece, Portugal, Spain and other markets …

– the massive uprisings across North Africa and the Middle East …

– this has all grown out of a lack of confidence … a lack of trust … a breakdown in social harmony.

There’s a feeling among many of lost opportunity… especially among our young.

When people begin to feel that their social mobility has been impaired, we begin to see cracks in the mosaic of social harmony.






the original speech



Muhtar Kent, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Coca-Cola Company

Keynote Remarks, World Affairs Council of Atlanta at Commerce Club

Atlanta, Georgia

November 11, 2011

As prepared for delivery

I want to thank the World Affairs Council of Atlanta for your kind invitation to join you all here today.

In a world that’s more interdependent than ever, the importance of the work all of you on the Council are doing can scarcely be overstated.

Thank you for your passion, your commitment and your good work.

I know you have a special relationship with Georgia State University–an institution that is, every day, becoming more prominent and more important to our shared future.

In would also like to thank the Commerce Club for your hospitality and this great room. And of course a special thank you to the board and other club members for all you do.

For decades, the Commerce Club has been synonymous with the business and civic leadership of Atlanta, including, of course, our own Robert Woodruff. I’m honored to continue this tradition of engagement, and delighted to be here.

Finally, I would like to welcome our Atlanta Coca-Cola shareholders who are here. Thank you for your continued support of The Coca-Cola Company.

Before I begin, I want us to all recognize another group of people.

With all the freedoms we enjoy today, we owe a tremendous debt to those Americans who came before us.

We also owe a vast debt to a group of Americans who, in many cases, risked their very lives to secure a freer, more just and more peaceful world:

Our veterans.

Veterans, thanks to you, the people of this country and countries all over the world are immeasurably better off.

On this Veteran’s Day, I invite our veterans to please stand so we can offer a small expression of the gratitude we have for you and your families and those you served with.

An interesting historical note: Coca-Cola’s most dramatic international expansion came alongside American GI’s during World War II.

General Eisenhower requested Cokes for our soldiers overseas, and Mr. Woodruff committed to provide them to the government for a nickel a piece, regardless of cost. Ultimately, thirsty GI’s enjoyed more than 5 billion Cokes… and the 64 bottling plants built in Europe, Asia and North Africa formed the basis of Coca-Cola’s post-war global bottling system.

This is, as many of you know, the 125th anniversary of Coca-Cola.

In 1886, Dr. John Pemberton served the very first Coca-Cola at Jacob’s Pharmacy on Marietta Street, just a short distance from here.

Back in May, we lit up our North Avenue tower as a giant thank-you card to everyone in Atlanta and beyond who has made Coca-Cola what it is today.

Today is, in part, a continuation of that display–a chance for me to say thank you to the leadership of this great city that we’re so proud to call home.

Atlanta and Coca-Cola have grown in tandem for 125 years.

In good times and not-so-good times…

In peacetime and war…

In moments of tragedy and triumph.

It is, in many ways, a great love story between a company and a city.

Between a brand and a community.

Between the people of Coca-Cola and the friends and neighbors we’re honored to work alongside every day.

The special relationship goes back as far as any of us can remember and beyond.

Over the years, it’s been our privilege to contribute to Atlanta and its future.

Many of our city’s great institutions have connections to Coca-Cola:

Emory University.

The Woodruff Arts Center.

Goizueta Business School.

Atlanta University Center.

The Woodruff Library at Morehouse.

The CDC.

And, of course, The Varsity, another great Atlanta institution.

Atlanta gave birth to Coca-Cola, embraced Coca-Cola and loved Coca-Cola before any other community in the world.

Atlanta gave us our formula, our character, our culture, our values, our sense of fun and family and hospitality.

Simply put: there would be no Coca-Cola without Atlanta…and Atlantans.

From day one, Atlantans have been our leaders and our associates, our most enthusiastic customers, investors, boosters and fans.

Even now, about 10 percent of our stock, or about $15 billion dollars, is owned by Georgians and Georgia institutions.

As business grows here in the U.S. and around the world, the positive effects are felt right here at home.

In fact, in the last year alone, $350 million dollars in dividends were injected into the state’s economy.

125 years ago, we made a humble start in a rather small, reconstruction-era Southern town.

And today, both Atlanta and Coca-Cola are large, well-known and vibrant… global in reach and character… embodying optimism and good times… connecting friends, families and communities.

We provide simple moments of pleasure across 206 nations, but, we never forget our roots.

In fact, I like to think that every time a Coca-Cola product is enjoyed–1.7 billion times a day–people in every corner of the globe are getting a taste of the dynamism, vibrancy and hospitality of our hometown.

Today, I want to share a few thoughts about our world, our country, our community and our business.

Let me start with our take on what’s happening in the global marketplace right now. In a word, it’s “mixed.”

North America and much of Europe, as we all know, are still in for an uphill climb in terms of recovery.

Less so for Eastern Europe, and certainly less so for many of the “crisis unaware” markets we see today in parts of Latin America, Africa, and Central and South Asia.

Most economists now believe global GDP will grow just 3.5 percent this year. That said, emerging and developing economies will likely grow in excess of 6 percent while developed economies will grow on average less than 2 percent.

So it’s really a mixed picture. And depending on where you are in the world, it will be a mixed recovery.

Operating in 206 countries, though gives us a unique perspective on the world.

I believe that there are four consistent and inter-connected themes that we all need to focus on as we collectively search for ways to rekindle and unlock the code for growth.

I see these four themes as:

1. Confidence.

2. Governance

3. Social Harmony, and

4. Sustainable Growth

Let’s start with confidence.

Public trust in our institutions, as you very well know, has been at historical lows these past few years.

Not just in government and Congress, but in big business, education, NGOs and even religious institutions.

Collectively, we must work to restore trust.

And ensuring long-term trust will require repairing our governance models.

This can’t be done independently by one organization.

It’s going to require continued hard work and cooperation among business, government and civil society to ensure that we have processes in place for greater scrutiny and long-term accountability.

The unrest we have seen in Greece, Portugal, Spain and other markets …

– the massive uprisings across North Africa and the Middle East …

– this has all grown out of a lack of confidence … a lack of trust … a breakdown in social harmony.

There’s a feeling among many of lost opportunity… especially among our young.

When people begin to feel that their social mobility has been impaired, we begin to see cracks in the mosaic of social harmony.

Those cracks can only be repaired by growth, investment, innovation and job creation.

No amount of stimulus or new taxes will ever work.

It’s wrong to assume we can tax our way to prosperity.

That’s not how a free market system works.

That’s not how business works.

Quite frankly, that’s not how human nature works.

Collectively, we – all of us — have to grow our way out of this problem.

That’s going to require investment and innovation on our part …

… smart, intelligent incentives on government’s part…

… modern, simple tax reform suited for the 21st Century…

… and a spirit of cooperation on everyone’s part.

We know it can be done.

And we believe America must lead the way.

Make no mistake: The United States is a growth market of immense opportunity.

Forget everything you hear about America’s decline … or diminished relevance.

Instead, ladies and gentlemen, let’s look at the facts.

1. We’re growing: Over the next 40 years, the U.S. is likely to add 100 million people. Our fertility rates–the highest in the developed world–are higher even than much of the developing world.

2. We’re young: By 2050, only a quarter of our population will be over 60, compared with 31 percent in China and 41 percent in Japan–and even higher percentages in much of Europe.

3. We’re multi-cultural: The U.S. remains the world’s top destination for immigrants. In fact, today, according to demographic expert Joel Kotkin, half of all skilled immigrants come to the U.S. Since 1990, these new Americans have launched nearly a quarter of all venture-backed U.S. public companies.

4. We’re enterprising: Two out of 3 new jobs in this country are created by businesses less than 5 years old. Women entrepreneurs alone account for $4 trillion dollars in GDP in the U.S. That’s nearly the entire GDP of China today.

5. We’re innovative: The U.S. produces more patents and inventions than the rest of the world combined.

6. And we’re generous: Today, Americans give over $300 billion dollars a year to charitable causes. The American ethic of service and philanthropy is alive and well, and continues to serve as a beacon for the rest of the world.

When we first started talking about growing our U.S. business, some people thought we were talking about “taking a glider to the moon.”

But, we didn’t just talk: we made the biggest investment in company history, acquiring the American operations of our largest bottler for $12 billion dollars.

This is in addition to the $10.5 billion dollars of new investments we’ve made in our North American business over the last 3 years … and the $1.3 billion in new capital assets we’ve invested in 2011 alone.

These kinds of investments are all tied to that point I made earlier about The Golden Triangle of business, government and civil society working together in a spirit of cooperation to forge smart, intelligent incentives that benefit everyone.

Across the country, we are seeing the power and positive impact of these types of strong, collaborative partnerships.

In 2009, our Bottling Partner in Baton Rouge opened a $178 million dollar bottling plant that has created over 110 new Coca-Cola jobs … and 10 times that number of jobs across our System’s supply chain.

It’s a LEED-certified plant much like the new environmentally sound plant we’re opening next month in South Brunswick, New Jersey. In South Brunswick, we’ve worked with the state’s new Business Action Center to develop what will be our largest plant on the East Coast – an investment that will keep 1,000 jobs in New Jersey.

Far from shipping jobs overseas, we’re creating real and tangible benefits for Main Street America.

Take the case of our Main Street citrus plant in Auburndale, Florida. Yes, it’s really on Main Street!

Last year, I went to Auburndale to inaugurate a $115 million dollar expansion of our operations and to meet with the local suppliers who provide us with citrus for our growing global juice business.

In fact, one third of the entire Florida orange juice crop is now processed at our Auburndale facilities, where 135 new jobs have been created and more than $60 million dollars has been infused in the local community.

Here’s something you might find interesting… the capital improvements we’ve made and the new jobs we’ve created in Auburndale are a direct result of the growing demand we’re seeing for our juice beverages in China.

In fact, about 80 percent of the orange pulp processed at our Auburndale plant will be exported to China alone.

That’s right – our business in China is creating jobs and economic stimulus right here in the U.S.

Think, for a moment, about our nation’s winning attributes–growing, young, multi-cultural, enterprising, innovative and generous.

Those are the same strengths that put today’s Atlanta in a position of real strength.

Just as America is the world’s most global and culturally diverse country, Atlanta is a microcosm of that larger whole.

In Atlanta and across Georgia, we also see great examples of small and large businesses working together to create sustainable growth opportunities.

The important inter-play and mutual-dependency of small and large business cannot be overstated. We need each other and, as Atlantans, we understand that better than most.

Whether it’s Coca-Cola and our small, enterprising retail customers across this community…

Or Home Depot and its North Georgia lumber and hardware suppliers…

Or UPS and its small manufacturing, banking and legal clients…

We see an incredibly potent, synergistic effect when large and small businesses come together to leverage their collective strengths.

These synergies are also where innovation springs from.

Just outside this room is an innovation that combines art, science, entertainment and design.

It brings together RFID and micro-dispensing technologies, a Microsoft operating system and other wonderful inventions.

We call it Coca-Cola Freestyle, a fountain machine capable of providing more than 100 branded beverages.

We developed this fountain of the future in coordination with Dean Kamen–the man behind the Segway and the first insulin pump.

To make Coca-Cola Freestyle as iconic as our contour bottle, we turned to Pininfarina, the Italian designer of Ferraris and other sports cars.

We believe this will be a game-changer for us, giving consumers more choice and interaction and providing us with real-time preference data.

It’s also environmentally friendly, eliminating 30 percent of the water and packaging associated with our traditional fountain business. In time, this will represent a very significant green advantage for us.

Maybe most importantly, Coca-Cola Freestyle is a lot of fun, so be sure to check it out!

Today, there are more than 2,300 Freestyle fountains in 1,500-plus locations in 39 states, and new awards keep popping up in the trophy case.

For our anniversary, we increased Coca-Cola Freestyle’s choices from 106 to 125 with just a software update.

If you’re wondering, much of the work on Coca-Cola Freestyle is being done right here in Atlanta. I’m happy to share that we are investing more than $250 million dollars in a strategic expansion of our Atlanta production and supply system facilities to meet the needs of all our Freestyle fountains.

By the end of 2012, we expect this investment to create 100 new jobs, half with our Company and half with our supplier.

New jobs … new investments … new energy and vitality – all traits we associate with Atlanta.

And, all because our hometown has long been a diverse and welcoming city, consistently attracting skilled and talented people. No one has felt this more than Coca-Cola.

Forty years ago, in 1961, a young engineer and his family fled to this country from Cuba with nothing but $40 and 100 shares of Coca-Cola stock.

That new American would become one of Atlanta’s great business leaders, the late Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, Roberto Goizueta.

Years later, a son of Jewish-Russian immigrants, born in New Jersey, would come here to build a great business…and the world’s largest aquarium.

I’m referring, of course, to Bernie Marcus, the wonderful Atlanta philanthropist, who founded Home Depot along with another great friend of Coca-Cola and this community, Arthur Blank.

And now me … the son of a Turkish diplomat, born in the 50s in New York. Proudly following in the footsteps of the likes of Don Keough and Roberto Goizueta, leading this iconic and quintessential American and Global business system called Coca-Cola.

As a city and a state, I believe we must continue to be open and welcoming.

At the same time, I believe Atlanta must protect the vital infrastructure that fueled our rise as a global city: our standing as a transportation hub.

Today, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport connects Atlanta to the world….and the world, in turn, to Atlanta.

Atlanta remains an important railroad center. In fact, from our offices, I often see the endless lines of rail cars coming to and through this city.

To keep growing and prospering, I believe we must keep enhancing our transportation infrastructure.

Mass transit, yes.

Roads and bridges, yes.

Bike lanes and trails, yes.

And commuter alternatives, yes.

For our part, Coca-Cola is committed to being part of the larger solution.

We already encourage commuter alternatives, from mass transit to car-pooling to teleworking.

And we’ll continue to do more as we reimagine our offices and our business for the 21st century as part of our sweeping Workplace 2020 initiative.

Like much of America, Atlanta today faces significant challenges.

Our economy is struggling… unemployment remains painfully high… homeowners are stressed… and too many good people are out of work.

Even so, I believe our best days are ahead.

As a city, we’ve overcome much worse.

Resilience is part of our DNA.

And the great phoenix that rose from the ashes a century and a half ago will rise yet again.

For the future, I believe that some of our greatest opportunities will be in the area of sustainability-minded innovations like Coca-Cola Freestyle.

And Atlanta can certainly be a global leader in this space, with our people, our companies, our universities and the great, green canopy of trees and natural environments that inspire us all.

For Coca-Cola, a strong, vibrant and sustainable Atlanta is essential to achieving our 2020 Vision for growth.

Now more than ever, as we aim to double our business while reducing our environmental footprint, we need the intellectual capital, the creative capital and the innovative spirit and support of our great hometown.

That’s one reason we’ll continue to be engaged and supportive of every aspect of public life in this city.

Looking ahead, we’re excited about the next great Atlanta institution, coming to Pemberton Place.

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights will be a wonderful complement to the namesake centers of Atlanta’s two Nobel Peace Prize recipients – Dr. King and President Carter.

Today, as Coca-Cola strives to make a positive difference in every community we serve, all around the globe, we cannot and will not forget our hometown… this place that has given – and continues to give – so richly to us.

We believe in this city… we love our friends and neighbors here… and we look forward to contributing to the well-being of Atlanta for the next 125 years and beyond.

Thank you very much!

Watch the slideshow below recounting Coca-Cola’s impact on the Atlanta and Georgia markets.

Style Model

Style Model

Entertainment combined with information




– Immorality (morbid interest)


          Ex. Wife and mistress ‘took it in turns’ to sleep with father accused of starting fire that killed six children… and his lover was a bridesmaid at defendants’ wedding, ‘Nine-year-old’ Mexican girl who gave birth IS really aged 12 and the baby’s father is her STEPFATHER, Paedophile son of Ronnie Barker freed after 13 weeks in jail and is now expected to receive his £1.4million inheritance,Hard to stomach: The last meals of death row inmates executed for crimes they were proved to be INNOCENT of years laterPensioner left to lie and rot in her own filth as council carer cleaned around her – in images too horrific to show you

      – Daily Mail for women FeMail (exclusive)

Misleading titles – Police arrest three men including Welsh factory owner in horse meat probe as ASDA withdraws pasta sauces and soup over new contamination fears Attorney General urges appeal judges to lengthen sentences handed to four members of traveller family who forced men to work as slaves (men were institutionalised and not physically forced,slaves are property they were workers without rights  – there is a difference but it is true that they were slaves although they did not see themselves as slaves)

           –      Fat and obesity (issue)

The masseuse pointed at my stomach and said ‘baby?’: Woman who weighed 16st reveals holiday shame that made her shed half her body weight


Attitudes (as portrayed by comments and political articles)


Pseudo-political articles


1. “country is going to the dogs”

– immorality (conservative) portrayed in sensational news


2. Government too beurocratic, too soft

Ex. Death crash policewoman escapes prosecution for being on mobile phone… because it was on her lap, Three-year-old girl dies of dehydration after locum doctor sent her home from A&E without carrying out basic tests,£90m school perk for Forces chiefs based in the UK: Thousands of officers and civil servants have private fees paid by the taxpayer ,Labour’s modular exam system attacked by judge as headteachers lose bid to get GCSEs regraded


  1. Immigrants are (taking over      Britain\wasting taxpayers money\taking British jobs etc)

          Ex. Ministers have made no attempt to estimate number of Romanian and Bulgarian       immigrants who will come to Britain-links to immigration watch right wing NGO


Comments (readers views)


1. subtle evidence,radical views,discontent with staus quo,some quite well informed,not dissimalar thinking from authoritarian left (would two extreme nationalists from different countries hate each other?radicals have similar attitudes) hints at similarites with liberatarion left but less dominant  becuase its getting at everything from a different  (narrower) angle.

2. the judical system is too soft (nine years for manslaughter , father accedentally or purpousfully injured his child that died of the injuries)

3. nationalistic in the small things (English flag on English beef if there is a scottish flag on scottish beef)

was thinking a Raj Patel Article but his style is very subtle so instead of going for the top quality writing im copying the Daily Mail…it has a set political attitude and  its character should be easy to copy.

Will copy Daily mail graphology as well.Guessing that will be the hardest part.

Continue reading


  • no voice,no person (article?)
  •  Raj Patels  The Value of Nothing
  • not to entertain (inform and persuade)