Drinks producer Bavaria is the latest company to be hit by a bizarre hoax, which all started via social media messenger WhatsApp.
The popular malt soft drink has even been promoted by Colombian striker James Rodríguez:
“During the past few days an employee disappeared at the Pony Malta plant, an operator disappeared and nobody knows where they are, recently a Pony Malta storage tank has become blocked,” The message begins.
The unknown author of the WhatsApp message continues, in an elaborate story in which the worker’s body has in fact laid undiscovered in a storage tank in the malt drink plant, during the past two months.
Bavaria has responded to the claim, stating that it is “totally false.”
The firm have responded on Pony Malta’s Twitter channel, “the rumors in relation to an accident which occurred in one of our plants, currently being circulated via WhatsApp, are totally false.”
— PonyMalta (@PonyMalta_) September 30, 2015
But Pony Malta is not the first soft drink to be caught up in a media hoax. Coca-Cola bottling plant, owned by Embosan, located in the Santander department, also fell victim to an elaborate joke.
Fizzy foul play
In 1999, rumours circulated that a corpse was found face-up in a tank full of the popular soft drink. Sales of Coca-Cola dropped by 30 percent, as Embosan were forced to begin thorough checks into the hygiene and safety regulations in use at the plant, El Tiempo reported.
For now though, die hard Pony Malta fans won’t be put off, as Twitter users continue to react to the bizarre WhatsApp hoax:
— José Pékerman. (@DonJosePekerman) September 30, 2015