(ATLANTA) -- March 27, 2008 -- The Coca-Cola Company is stepping up in a big way to support Earth Hour 2008--a global "lights off" event created by the World Wildlife Fund to call attention to climate change. Coca-Cola has committed to darken its famous Times Square billboard in New York and the lights at its world headquarters in Atlanta, while donating advertising space valued at more than $2.5 million to promote Earth Hour, which takes place Saturday, March 29th at 8 p.m.
During Earth Hour, millions of people around the world will turn out their lights for one hour to make a statement of concern about climate change. More than 30 major cities around the world have signed on to support "Earth Hour" including Atlanta (the hometown of Coca-Cola), Chicago, Phoenix and San Francisco in the United States.
The Coca-Cola Company is spreading the Earth Hour message in many ways, including:
Donating advertising space to promote Earth Hour on its Times Square billboard in New York on Friday, March 28 and Saturday, March 29. This marks the first time since its construction in 2004 that Coke has allowed another organization to share the spectacular marquee. The famous billboard reaches approximately 17 percent of New York's 8 million-person population every day.
Turning off the prominent Coke sign in San Francisco, located near the Bay Bridge and non-essential lights at the New World of Coca-Cola Museum in Atlanta.
Providing advertising space in movie theaters across the country.
In addition, Coca-Cola reached out to its many advertising partners to secure further reach for the Earth Hour message:
Captivate is providing space on elevator screens in more than 1,500 landmark buildings across the country.
AdSpace is sharing the Earth Hour message via 168 digital kiosks in 15 major shopping malls across the US.
The Health Club Panel Network is donating advertising space in 31 health clubs in San Francisco, Chicago and Phoenix.
"By supporting Earth Hour, The Coca-Cola Company is sending a powerful message to the world about its commitment to finding solutions to climate change," said Carter Roberts, president and CEO of World Wildlife Fund. "We appreciate Coca-Cola's support of Earth Hour, an event which symbolizes that by working together we can make a difference in the fight against climate change."
"The implications of climate change for our planet are profound and wide-ranging, with impacts on biodiversity, water resources, public health, agriculture, and much more," said E. Neville Isdell, Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company. "The Coca-Cola Company is proud to lend our support to Earth Hour to raise awareness of this critical global issue. Beyond our efforts on Earth Hour, we are working with organizations such as WWF on long term solutions, such as improving the energy efficiency of our manufacturing and distribution processes worldwide."
The Coca-Cola Company is a leading supporter of WWF, launching an ambitious global partnership in 2007 to conserve freshwater resources and combat climate change. Together, WWF and Coca-Cola will help conserve seven of the world's most important freshwater river basins, increase water efficiency in the company's operations and global supply chain, and reduce the company's carbon footprint. The company has also pledged to return the amount of water equivalent to what it uses in its beverages and their production back to nature.
Momentum Builds for Earth Hour 2008 Support for Earth Hour 2008 continues to build as globally recognized landmarks and buildings, such as the Sears Tower and Golden Gate Bridge, sports teams, including the Phoenix Suns and San Francisco Giants, and Earth Hour's national corporate partners Hewlett Packard, Esurance and National Geographic Channel, join the climate change movement sweeping the world.
On Saturday, March 29 at 8 p.m. local time, millions of people around the world will turn off their lights to show how by working together we can make a difference in the fight against climate change. Starting in Christchurch, New Zealand, Earth Hour will roll across 22 time zones, including Bangkok, Copenhagen, Dublin, Manila, Montreal, Sydney, Tel Aviv and Toronto. In the US, Earth Hour will begin in Atlanta at 8 p.m. local time, moving across the continent to Chicago and Phoenix, before wrapping up in San Francisco. Traversing more than 30 cities in 15 countries, Earth Hour will be the largest voluntary power down in history.
Individuals and businesses from around the world can sign up to participate in Earth Hour at www.earthhour.org.
About WWF For more than 45 years, WWF has been protecting the future of nature. The largest multinational conservation organization in the world, WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by 1.2 million members in the United States and close to 5 million globally. WWF's unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level, from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature. Go to www.worldwildlife.org to learn more.
About The Coca-Cola Company The Coca-Cola Company is the world's largest beverage company. Along with Coca-Cola®, recognized as the world's most valuable brand, the Company markets four of the world's top five nonalcoholic sparkling brands, including Diet Coke®, Fanta® and Sprite®, and a wide range of other beverages, including diet and light beverages, waters, juices and juice drinks, teas, coffees, energy and sports drinks. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company's beverages at a rate of 1.5 billion servings each day. For more information about The Coca-Cola Company, please visit our website at www.thecoca-colacompany.com.