Coca Cola Sweden has lent the label of their bottle to the 150 most common first names in Sweden*, to make the Coke experience a little personal, and fun. You can spot the classics Maria, Karl, Birgitta and Göran on a bottle near you soon. The names were the 150 most common from the statistic central agency list of names, and lots of Emma, Oskar and Johan's will be able to find their names on bottles in a supermarket near them.
The one name you won't see on a Coke bottle is Mohammed. You see, even though we have 31 237 men named Mohammed in Sweden, making it the 77th most common male name, Coke decided that it should not be one of the names on the bottle naming marketing experiment to avoid offense. Wait, what? I'll translate what Gustaf Wetterwik, the marketing CEO of Coca-Cola Sweden told SvD newspaper.
Coca-Cola is symbolically very strongly linked to the U.S.. We had internal discussions about this before the launch of the campaign and also with local contacts at the Islamic Association in Sweden. And finally, we concluded that we believe it is less offensive to not have that name included in the campaign, than having it on a product that is so tightly associated with the United States.
TIL: American stuff can not be named Mohammed because offensive. I'll have a bottle of Åke, please.
* Clarification due to a weird twitter-discussion spawned by this post - the most common first names in Sweden are not synonymous with the most common Swedish names. Ali, Mio and Maximilian are popular first names for boys in Sweden, but not Swedish in the same way as Loke, Björn and Bengt are. If you want to hash out linguistic name origins & nitpick my examples from the linked 150 list, feel free to join in the comments below.