press release (june 2004)
       exhibition opens at the Foundry wednesday 9 June 7.00
       Continues until Sunday 20 June
       Opening times 4.30-11 tues-fri 2.30-11 sat sun 
       closed mondays
       free entry


Curated by Mark Thomas and Tracey Sanders-Wood

This exhibition is done without the consent of Coca Cola. The works are not the original adverts used by Coke in Nazi Germany, well one or two might be Coke ads but they have been bastardised and willfully changed.

in the United States, people consume more soft drinks than any other liquid- including ordinary tap water. If we take full advantage of our opportunities someday, not too many years into our second century, we will see the same wave catching on in market after market, until, eventually, the number one beverage on earth will not be tea or coffee or wine or beer, It will be our soft drinks-our soft drinks.
R.Giozueta, ex CEO of Coca Cola.

Coca Cola GmbH (Germany) collaborated with the Nazis. The company advertised in Nazi papers financially assisting the regime. They opened up bottling plants in Sudetenland shortly after the Nazis had invaded. They exhibited at Nazi trade fairs. And in 1941 when Coca Cola GmbH could no longer get the syrup to make Coke from America they created a new drink out of the ingredients they had available to them. That drink created for the Nazi soft drink market was Fanta.

Fanta is the drink of Nazis.

The excellent Book by Mark Pendergrast "For God Country and Coca Cola" describes the CEO of Coke GmbH standing under Coca Cola banners and swastikas at a Coke rally before leading the audience in the Seig Heils for Hitler. Pendergrast also points to the near certainty that Coke used forced labour in the bottling plants, considering that 1/5 of the workforce was forced labour by 1945 it is perhaps not surprising.

Today the mighty Coca Cola empire is rapidly becoming a pariah company. It dominates the world of sporting sponsorship, while selling a drink that is basically sugared water and is linked with childhood obesity. In Kerala, Southern India, thousands have suffered from lack of water. The company, they claim, has used their groundwater and over exploited it. So while some villagers had to walk 7kms for fresh water Coke was merrily trucking out bottles in front of them.

In Colombia the Coca Cola bottlers are accused of hiring or conspiring with paramilitaries to kill, torture, kidnap and disappear trade unionists working for the company. Eight trade unionists have been killed so far. A few weeks ago close family members of a prominent trade unionist working for Coke were attacked by paramilitaries. Gabriel and Fanny Remolina were shot dead; their son Robinson died the next day. There are 2 surviving children.

A billion minutes ago Christianity appeared. A billion seconds ago the Beatles changed music forever. A billion Coca Colas ago was yesterday morning.
R. Goizueta ex CEO of Coca Cola.

The artists who have contributed to the exhibition have become involved through word of mouth, Mark talking to people at his shows and Tracey grabbing the artist community. It has been a truly democratic experience with professional artists, keen amateurs and school children participating. Originally we intended to merely try and recreate some of the images of the Nazi era, but once the artists got going they did what they wanted.

This is the first Coco Cola Nazi Adverts Art Exhibition, others are planned. Indeed we might even franchise the idea, with people creating their own exhibitions, a sort of McCoca Cola Nazi Adverts.

Mark Thomas and Tracey Sanders-Wood.

Special thanks to Jeff, PK, Winjer, Sam, Tony, Bev, Bex, Linda, Neil, Richard, Yonze, Ed, Matt and all the artists.

The website: Coca Cola Nazi Advert Challenge
Simon Cauty'sCoke Warz
The Coca-Cola Company Under The Nazis
Coke Takes Life
Coca Cola Goes To War
SINALTRAINAL Killer Coke site
Corpwatch India
Columbia Solidarity Campaign


No laughing matter: comedian advertises Coca-Cola's 'Nazi' past

By Ciar Byrne, Media Correspondent

Independent 26 May 2004

Coca-Cola adverts are to be found in the farthest corners of the globe promoting a happy, wholesome image, but now they are the subject of a new exhibition which links the soft drinks giant with Nazi Germany.

The comedian Mark Thomas and the artist Tracey Sanders-Wood, who curated the art show Coca-Cola's Nazi Adverts, which opened in central London yesterday, say the company advertised in Nazi papers, exhibited at Nazi trade fairs and opened bottling plants in Sudetenland shortly after the Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia.

Coca-Cola has rejected any suggestion that it sympathised with the Nazi regime, although it admits it operated in Germany while Hitler was in power.

Artists and members of the public with artistic aspirations were invited to contribute to the exhibition. Their brief was to imagine Coca-Cola's adverts in Nazi Germany. Mr. Thomas said: "Coke exists through advertising. That's why people drink the stuff. You can't escape it. What we wanted to do was to create an exhibition which made people think again every time they reached for a Coke.

"It's a very democratic exhibition. I mentioned it after gigs and we set up a website. If a work is submitted, it will be exhibited."

Images in the exhibition, which will include more than 400 pieces when it moves to the Foundry in east London next month, feature Coca-Cola symbols - the company's slogan and the Coke bottle - combined with Nazi slogans, propaganda and pictures of Adolf Hitler.

Predictably, it has not gone down well at Coca-Cola. "We reject out of hand the suggestion that as a company Coca-Cola ever sympathised in any way with the abhorrent acts or policies of the Nazi regime in Germany," said Tim Wilkinson, communications director for Coca-Cola Great Britain. "That is an unwarranted insult toward every person working for our company."

Coca-Cola has donated money to help those who were involved in forced labour during the Nazi years in Austria and Germany, but Mr. Wilkinson said this was good corporate practice and not an admission of guilt.

Richard Niman, whose sculpture portraying Hitler as a little girl holding a doll has been on display at the Imperial War Museum in London since 1990, is involved with the project. He believes that focusing on Coca-Cola's past gives the show wider appeal. "You have to pick something big to make it have a more universal context. Hopefully it will embarrass Coca-Cola," he said.

Thomas, known for his attacks on the Government and on corporate Britain, has been compared with the American Michael Moore. He uses stand-up gigs and his Channel 4 show to decry miscarriages of justice and oppression.

He has forced the former armed forces minister Nicholas Soames to display a family heirloom, a mahogany three-tier buffet, at Christie's in London, under a law that made works of art available to the nation in lieu of inheritance tax, and has driven a tank into a McDonald's "drive-thru" restaurant.

He has also has set up an exhibition of contaminated sea- gull droppings at the Sellafield nuclear centre, and went to the Athens arms fair in 1998 posing as a PR consultant and encouraging dealers to put on a media-friendly spin.

Thanks to our artists:
9thplanet design
Alan Haigh
Alan Rutherford
Alan Schechner
Alex Lenehan
Amble Skramble
Andrew Ainscough
Andrew Brandse
Andrew Denmead
Andrew Dobbie
Andrew Lamberton
Andy Jones
Andy Rogers
Beau Bo D'Or
Bill Pollard
Billy Canpuffcorn
Blunkett’s Dog
Bobbie Bukkake
Brian Reed
Brian Weiss
Charlotte Mills
Chris Barker
Chris Barralet
Chris Edge
Chris Emerson
Chris Gibbons
Chris Hough
Chris Johnson
Chris Mcallister 
Chris Rollinson
The Church of the Subgenius
Claire Swallow
D Smout
Dai Marzipan
Dandy Dimbot
Daniel Castrogiovanni
Danny Rodgers
Dave Barton
Dave Greenstreet
Dave Johnson
Dave Lee
Dave Tickle
David Allcutt
David Hamblin
David Kenyon
David Sydenham
Dean Perry
Dean Whitbread / Mark Crook, Funk Inc.
Deborah Lewis
DJ Rich
Dr John
Dunstan Bruce
Ed McCarthy
Edd aka LeChat
Emma Price
Emma Scotney
Fiona Ferguson
Fran Anderton
Gareth Kelly
Gary Millea
Gary Noble
Geoff and Caroline Castle
George Carr
George Dubya
Gordon McHarg
Graham Haslehurst
Grassy Noel
Hadyn Isaac
Jack Morgan
Jacky Sawdon
James Loach
Jason Synott
Jaz 5
Jeff Parry
Jeffrey Bryant
Jimmy Cauty
Jo Selwood
Joe Smith
Johanna Hanley
John Gardner
Jon Bounds
Jonny Spencer
Karina Schulte
Katie McGettigan
Katy Mills
Kelly Broad
Kev G
Kris Fox
Laura Antonucci
Layla Evans and Max Delderfield
Laura Norder
Lee Wallis
Leon Reed
Linda Bush
Lorna Sankey
Lucy Schorn & Dan Sutton
Lynn Abery
Mad Manc Bastard
Maggie Bremner
Marc Abraham
Marc Phillipps
Mark Clews
Mark James
Mark Miller
Mark Olden
Mark Shepherd
Martin taylor
Marus Bowes
Mat Simpson
Mata H*
Matt Windle
Melanie Shaw
Michael Corkery
Michael Miller
Mike J Glenholmes
Mike Trinder
Miss J Selwood
Moira Minguella
Mr Kipling
Neil Hepburn
Nick Read
Nick Reynolds
Nigel Goldsmith
Not Mark Thomas
Oliver Mills 
Paul Tompsett
Paul Bauer
Paul Couling
Paul harckham
Paul Harper
Paul Jamrozy
Paul Jones
Peter Healey
Ray Rogers
Rebecca Martin (Bex)
Richard Cole
Richard Guy
Richard Knights
Richard Niman
Richard Porter
Robbie Lesiuk
Robert Saunders
Robert Sharp
Robin Metcalfe
Romayne Phoenix
Rosie Holtom
Ryan Holder
Ryan kidd
Sam Turner
Sean Liquorish
Sean Rawles
Seb Hunt
Sebastian Jespersen
Simon Browne
Simon Cauty
Simon Nicholson
Simon Paris
Simon Strutt
Sioux Quinn
Steve Loach
Stuart Clary
Terri Sturman
Tim Hale
Tim Ireland
Tim Yates
Thomas Hardwidge
Tom Johnson
Tony Traynor
Tracey Sanders-Wood
Universal Racket Press
Warren Dobson
Witty Ditty
Zodiac Mindwarp