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Wireless cola gives USAF target practice

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A stunt by Coca Cola to equip special 'prize' drink cans with a tracking device has backfired on the company. Over a hundred cans have been fitted with a red button which when pressed, will activate a marketing SWAT team from the drinks giant, which will then descend from the skies and present the bewildered soda guzzler with a prize. The cans contain a GPS tracking device and a GSM cellphone.

It's raised security concerns, although who has the most to fear is debatable. Over at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the USAF will screen incoming soda cans to detect the tracking device, and other military installations have followed suit.

But surely, the real danger is to the airborne marketeers. Our assessment of the Coca Cola Company's military strength isn't quite up as comprehensive as we'd like it to be. The company has a history of using local proxies for its overseas campaigns. But descending on a US Air Force Base while the Homeland is in a state of Orange Alert is far riskier than any of its South American operations - and sure to end up with only one winner.

So if you hear a loud explosion this July 4 weekend, it may not be a firework. It may simply be Coca Cola marketing people dueling it with the USAF. ®

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