Family Outraged After Finding "You Retard" Under VitaminWater Cap

One angry family is swearing off Coca-Cola products for good after finding the words "You Retard" printed underneath the cap of VitaminWater bottle.

The words hit particularly close to home for Blake Loates because her younger sister Fiona suffers from both cerebral palsy and autism.

"The R-word is just something we don’t say in my family," the Alberta woman told Metro Canada. "My dad is quite upset and is on a rampage."

Indeed, Doug Loates, of Tacoma, Washington, shot off an blistering letter to Coca-Cola's board of directors demanding answers.

"We thought it might have been a disgruntled employee or someone in a (bottling) plant playing a joke," Blake told Huffington Post Canada.

But, as it turns out, the words were put there by VitaminWater itself — on purpose.

It seems the company's Canadian division had been holding a contest that involves printing one random word in English and one random word in French on the same bottle cap.

It just so happened that Loates found a bottle cap with the word "You" and the French word "Retard," meaning "late" or "delayed," printed in tandem.

"We did not mean to offend at all," said Coca-Cola Canada's director of brand communications Shannon Denny.

According to Denny, the odds of those two words ending up on the same cap "were slim," but the mishap was still an "oversight" on Coca-Cola's part.

"We have learned from this and it was a mistake," said Coca-Cola's VP of still beverages David Thomson.

Thomson is writing the Loates family a formal apology, and has ordered the contest canceled and all remaining bottle caps destroyed.

[photo via Blake Loates]