Coke's Smile Linked To Sun

The Coca-Cola Co. is studying wireless technology that could allow bottlers to raise or lower soda prices by remote control at certain times - say, during hot weather.

Lower prices during periods of slower sales would presumably bring in more business. Coke spokesman Ben Deutsch said Wednesday that the world's biggest soft drink maker has no plans to put such a machine into the marketplace.

The New York Times reported Thursday that the company is testing a machine that can automatically raise prices for its drinks during hot weather. It also quoted chairman and chief executive M. Douglas Ivester's comments on the subject earlier this month to a Brazilian newsmagazine, Veja.

The desire for a cold drink increases during the summer heat, Ivester said, so "it is fair that it should be more expensive. The machine will simply make this process automatic."

Deutsch, Coke's media relations manager, told CBS Radio News the company has "no plans to commercialize technology that would increase pricing in hot weather.

"The only pricing discussions we have had in relation to technological innovation," he said, "is how it might enable us to actually reduce prices at off-peak times or for special promotions."