Why the Pepsi logos?
Why the Pepsi logos?

Ever wonder why it is hard to find a drinking water fountain (faucet) at UBC? In my memory, this dates back to 1995 when a lot of the water fountains had signs added warning about water quality and advising that the tap should be left running for at least a minute to ensure you were not drinking contaminated water. There's a lot to unpack in this.

The University of British Columbia had entered into a confidential exclusive campus-wide deal with Coca-Cola. It also had an exclusive deal with Canadian Airlines (R.I.P.) that in turn had an exclusive deal with Pepsi-Cola to serve only beverages from Pepsi on its flights.

I always wondered whether, when I was on a flight I had booked through UBC, I should accept a Pepsi from the flight attendants in keeping with UBC's exclusive with Canadian Airlines or instead demand a Coke in keeping with UBC's exclusive agreement with Coca-Cola.

My actual preference is Coke, so I guess I failed the Pepsi Challenge (watch Pepsi CEO John Scully discuss the battle between Pepsi and Coke if you don' remember this), but I have a strong dislike for exclusive marketing deals made by public institutions. Hence the Pepsi logos on my website.

I think this anecdote, from an analysis of the Coke-Pepsi rivalry, says a lot about how seriously held people's opinions are about Coke vs. Pepsi.

An oft-repeated, although possibly apocryphal, story might go someway to explaining [how disruptive the introduction of New Coke was]. It tells how a Coke delivery driver in Marietta, Georgia was attacked by a woman with an umbrella while stacking cans of the new Coke. ‘You bastard,’ she screamed at him, ‘you ruined it ‐ it tastes like shit!’ When a Pepsi driver, who was also present, burst out laughing the angry woman turned her anger on him yelling: ‘You stay out of it! This is family business. Yours is worse than shit!’

I do drink Pepsi from time to time. The photo on the left is me when I was about two years old near Aliso Creek in Laguna Beach, where my grandparents had a house on Aliso Circle overlooking PCH and the beach below. Maybe if I had not drunk so much Coke and Pepsi over the years I would still be as skinny as I was then.

Go back and click on the link for “exclusive campus-wide deal” if you want to read more in The Ubyssey about the UBC-Coke agreement and how it might affect obesity and free access to drinking water on campus. Or read it directly from the source.

Source file: whyPepsi.shtml
Last modified: Monday, 29-Nov-2021 09:36:54 PST
For more information: ksbooth@cs.ubc.ca