These photos are being shared online claiming to show “Coca-Cola being first introduced in France in 1950” or a little more vague; “When Coca-Cola came to France in 1950”.
With other words these photos are supposed to show French people reacting to a drink that is for the first time available in their country.
They do not.
The photos show the start of a brand new big marketing campaign in France in 1950.
Coca-Cola drove around France handing out free bottles and LIFE magazine photographer Mark Kauffman was there to photograph the reactions.
Yes, some of the pictures show French people trying the drink for the first time.
BUT this still was not the introduction of Coca-Cola in France.
Coca-Cola had been available in France since 1919 when Raymon Aaron Linton registers the brand in France and French infantry officer, Georges Delcroix started importing and selling the drink in Bordeaux.
In 1921 he starts a bottling plant in a former Parisian garage and 1933 he moved to a proper factory and more production plants were opened.
The war stopped the production of the drink but American soldiers brought it back during the liberation in 1944.
So although it was not yet available in every shop and on every street corner and many French people would not have had a chance to try it or had even heard of it, it had been available on a relatively large scale for quite some time when the 1950 campaign began.
The photos are real but the description is not.
It would be more correct to share them as; Photos showing French people trying Coca-Cola during an 1950 marketing campaign.
Besides not crediting the artist and owner of the pictures people are sharing them online without mentioning (or even realising) that the description is incorrect and that they are thus spreading fake history.
If you see the picture(s) shared online with the incorrect description, please direct the person posting it to this article.
Picture(s) found online, used for (re-)educational purposes only.
I do not own the copyrights to this picture, I only share it here for educational purposes to try and make sure the real story behind it becomes known and people will stop spreading false information.