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BuzzFeed, Huffington Post and a bunch of other websites fell for a fake photograph that purported to picture Coca Cola bottles lined up to show the names of several women whose names were featured in the 1999 one-hit wonder song by Lou Bega, “Mambo Number 5,” Gawker reported.

Labels on Coca Cola bottles currently say “Share a Coke with Bobby” or “Share a Coke with a Friend.” Each bottle has a different name on it. See below an example:

(Credit: Twitter, Coca-Cola UK)

But a fake photograph circulated this past week that depicting a line of Coca Cola bottles inscribed “share a Coke with” Monica, Erica, Rita, Tina, Sandra, Mary, Jessica. Those are the names from Bega’s song. The lyrics go:

“A little bit of Monica in my life, a little bit of Erica by my side
A little bit of Rita is all I need, a little bit of Tina is what I see
A little bit of Sandra in the sun, a little bit of Mary all night long
A little bit of Jessica here I am, a little bit of you makes me your man”

Several news outlets including the Huffington Post and BuzzFeed reported on the photo as if it were real apparently without bothering to fact check.

However, Gawker flagged that there was a quick way to fact check the story to confirm the photo was fake. Coca Cola has a search option on its website where you can see if they are selling Coca Colas with your name on it.

While there are bottles with Monica, Erica, and Mary, Coca Cola says on its website there aren’t bottles with Rita, Tina, Sandra or Jessica in stores. So if they’re not in stores, they couldn’t have been lined up and been photographed.

Screenshot from Share a Coke

 

Here are the news outlets that dropped the ball and published the fake photo.

BuzzFeed reported on the photo with its article saying, “The picture surfaced on Reddit on Wednesday and we really hope it’s real.”

The UK Metro also published a story, “Someone lined up these Coke bottles to make the Mambo No.5 lyrics”

The story claimed, “It’s either the handiwork of a joker or divine intervention, but the Coke bottles in a US shop were lined up to chronologically show the names of all the girls mentioned in Lou Bega’s pop anthem Mambo No.5.

Eater posted “These Coke Bottles Really, Really Love Lou Bega’s One Hit Wonder Mambo No. 5”

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Digital Spy posted “It had to happen – Mambo No. 5 lyrics made with Coke bottles”

BuzzFeed reported on the photo with its article saying, “The picture surfaced on Reddit on Wednesday and we really hope it’s real.”

The UK Metro also published a story, “Someone lined up these Coke bottles to make the Mambo No.5 lyrics”

The story claimed, “It’s either the handiwork of a joker or divine intervention, but the Coke bottles in a US shop were lined up to chronologically show the names of all the girls mentioned in Lou Bega’s pop anthem Mambo No.5.”

Eater posted “These Coke Bottles Really, Really Love Lou Bega’s One Hit Wonder Mambo No. 5”

Digital Spy posted “It had to happen – Mambo No. 5 lyrics made with Coke bottles”

BuzzFeed, Metro, Eater and Digital Spy have not published corrections as of Aug. 7 at 8 PM EST.

The Huffington Post has updated its story, “Coke Bottles Inadvertently Become Promo For ‘Mambo No. 5.”

Its headline now reads: “Viral Photo Of ‘Mambo No. 5’ Coke Bottles Is Totally Fake [UPDATE]”

The update states:

“UPDATE: The “Mambo No. 5” Coke photo is, yep, a fake. Alex Pareene tweeted that Coke does not make bottles named “Tina” after Twitter user @Bro_Pair pointed out that the image was probably Photoshopped. Rita, Jessica and Sandra are also absent from ShareACoke.com’s name finder.”

iMediaEthics has asked Coca Cola for comment.

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Fake Photo of Coke bottles fools Buzzfeed, Huff Post, UK Metro, No fact checking

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