Agence France Presse

A bottle of Mecca Cola

Agence France Presse English




A bottle of Mecca Cola


Mecca Cola has received over 1,000 initial enquiries within two days of its “No More Drinking Stupid” advertising campaign which is trying to cash in on the fierce anti-US sentiments in Pakistan.


The promoters of “Mecca Cola,” the Muslim world’s answer to popular US soft drinks, are preparing to cash in on fierce anti-US sentiments in Pakistan.


The Paris-based company is planning to launch its product here and has been inviting tenders from local distributors through newspaper advertisements.


“We received over 1,000 initial enquiries within two days of the ad appearing,” Mecca Cola’s local representative Tahir Javed said Wednesday.


A local business partner had been chosen, but Javed would not disclose the planned launch date.


Mecca Cola advertised in local papers under the slogan with which its scored success among Europe’s Muslims: “No More Drinking Stupid, Drink with Commitment.”


It promises to allocate one tenth of profits to Palestinian children and local charities.


Mecca Cola is the brainchild of Paris-based businessman Tawfiq Mathlouthi, who launched it in France last year and is now running a roaring trade in the United Kingdom, France, Belgium and Germany.


Mecca Cola challenges US giants’ Coca Cola and Pepsi’s market dominance, which has confounded radical Islamists who hate the United States but love its soft drinks.


It is guaranteed huge markets among Pakistan’s 138 million Muslims, in the grip of a wave of anti-American sentiment over the US-led ouster of neighbouring Afghanistan’s Taliban regime, its invasion of Iraq and the presence of US intelligence agents hunting al-Qaeda suspects.


Radical clerics leading fiery anti-US rallies are often seen drinking bottles of Pepsi and Coca Cola, even as they lead calls to boycott US products.


US fast food outlets have been the target of boycott calls and terror plots. A bomb exploded outside a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet on Monday night, injuring an Islamic militant accused of carrying it.


“We are very much confident that soon after the launch of Mecca Cola in Pakistan, we will snatch whole markets from the two colas,” Javed said.