Coca-Cola has had to apologise to an outraged family after an insulting message was discovered underneath the cap of one of its drinks.

Taking a sip from a seemingly-inoffensive bottle, Blake Loates, from Alberta, Canada, was shocked to find the words "YOU RETARD" printed inside the cap of Vitamin Water.

blake loates

The offending bottle

"We immediately thought 'You have got to be kidding me,'" she told the Huffington Post Alberta.

"We thought it might have been a disgruntled employee or someone in a (bottling) plant playing a joke."

Her father, Doug, was especially horrified by the message as his younger daughter Fiona has cerebral palsy and autism.

"My dad had taught our family what an awful word the 'r-word' is. So he was really upset about this."


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Doug, who lives in Washington state, stayed up all night penning a letter to Coke.

Coke Letter


Blake says Coke contacted her family Wednesday to explain the bottle cap is part of a contest being held by Vitamin Water where they randomly print one English word and one French word on their caps.

“We did not mean to offend at all,” Shannon Denny, director of brand communications for Coca-Cola Refreshment Canada, told Metro Calgary.

“We are certainly very apologetic for this oversight.”