Have a Cherry Coke, Get a Warren Buffett Smile

Billionaire's face is being used on Cherry Coke cans in China
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 4, 2017 7:33 AM CDT
Have a Cherry Coke, Get a Warren Buffett Smile
Buffett tells Yahoo Finance: "I did not sit down for a portrait" for the soda can rendering.   (Coca-Cola, via Bloomberg)

Amazon's Jeff Bezos may have knocked Warren Buffett into third place on the world's richest people list, but only one of them has been deemed worthy of gracing Cherry Coke cans in China—and it's not Bezos. For a limited time, Coca-Cola is splashing Buffett's mug across cans of its fruity-flavored soda in China, which just welcomed the beverage for the first time in early March, Reuters reports. CNNMoney notes Buffett's likeness will come in the form of a "cartoon rendering," which Buffett tells Yahoo Finance he's letting the company use for free. But why did Coca-Cola choose an 86-year-old billionaire and not, say, Lady Gaga to adorn its soda cans?

First, Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway company is Coke's biggest shareholder (it claims a stake just over 9%, said to be worth close to $17 billion). Second, Buffett is a brand ambassador of sorts for the soft drink, telling Fortune in 2015 that he sucks down at least five 12-ounce servings daily and is "one quarter Coca-Cola." Finally, the Chinese actually kind of dig Buffett: Reuters notes the country sends a "large contingent" to the States to attend Berkshire's yearly get-togethers in Nebraska, and Carter Chow, the CEO of the Chinese arm of the J. Walter Thompson agency, tells CNN the Chinese are sick of celebs putting their names behind any and all products. Buffett, meanwhile, enjoys "cult status" because of his success in the business arena, Chow adds. (More Warren Buffett stories.)

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