22 August 2000

The government should be paying university tuition fees, not a US multinational, fulminated a Liberal Democrat spoke after learning of a new Coca-Cola UK promotion offering fees as prizes in an online auction.

The promo due to run on a special Coke website ( invites students to collect ten or more promotional ring pulls - worth 100 credits each - from cans of Coke. They then mail the ring pulls to a fulfilment house which registers applicants for the auction and adds a further 500 credits to their ‘account’. Bidding for prizes in the shape of tuition fees starts on August 29 and remains open for two weeks. The top prize could be worth up to £25,000.

Coke claims that a special consumer survey uncovered the demand for student fees and expenses as promotional prizes. But the Department for Education and Employment insists that many students do not have to pay tuition fees. Every young person who qualifies for higher education is entitled to state support for the cost of their study, other than in exceptional circumstances.

News Source: CampaignLive (UK)