There was a rare excellent business story in the AJC this weekend – an exclusive sit-down with Coca-Cola”s CEO and President that focused on problems the soda giant continues to have in the North America market. The two talked frankly about recognizing deep problems in U.S. operations, the perception problem with high-calorie colas and their strategy to better link drinks like Coke Zero and Diet Coke to the “Coca-Cola” brand.
It was insightful, important … and edited. The AJC even went out of their way to note “Here are edited excerpts:”
Apparently the AJC published online just the same column-inch-confined story that made the paper. Or perhaps they ran the longer Q&A in the physical paper as a way of punishing online readers? That would make no sense, but I wouldn”t put it past the AJC. And if that”s the strategy, they should put a note online saying as much. But, again, that would be a lot to ask.
The AJC should take a clue from Wired, which ran a Q&A with Google”s Eric Schmidt this month and did it right. In the magazine, they ran their edited piece; and online you got the full text if you wanted it.
And, of course, the AJC still suffers from their failed strategy of requiring users to give them a fake email address and fake information to read their stories online, which is why I”m not linking to their Coke Q&A.