SMS Marketing Industry News

Coca-Cola Sued For Holding SMS Subscribers Hostage


Coca-Cola apparently doesn’t understand that STOP means STOP, especially when you’re running an SMS marketing campaign. Coca-Cola is now facing the consequences in a new class action lawsuit. The lawsuit claims that consumers were unable to opt-out of receiving text messages, which is a violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

The Defendant, Shaghayegh Missaghi says that she received the following message from the short code 2653, which spells the word “COKE” – (why we don’t recommend this practice):

“MyCokeRewards: Enter now for your chance to win Coke(R) and Pringles(R) for a year. {website link} NoPurNec. Ends 2/29/12 Reply HELP for help.”

After receiving the message, Shaghayegh attempted to opt out of the SMS campaign by texting STOP to 2653, which was unsuccessful. The plaintiff continued to receive unwanted text messages from Coke, regardless of her attempts to opt out and despite their own confirmation that the defendant would no longer receive text messages.

The plaintiff decided enough was enough and filed a class action lawsuit, which is being represented by Edelson and McGuire, the same lawyers behind the follow SMS spam class action lawsuits: IADT, Twilio, Rick’s Cabaret and the mother of all SMS spam cases against Jiffy Lube and TextMarks for $47M. They are requesting $500 per unsolicited text message on behalf of their client and all others affected by these unsolicited text messages.

From my experience, this kind of issue is rarely the fault of the brand, and usually a technical issue with the SMS platform they’re using. This is why it’s super important to select the right SMS platform, and always do your own audits of the system to make sure everything is working as it should. Have you had issues opting out of an SMS campaign in the past, let us know in the comments below.

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