Tonawanda, N.Y. (WKBW-TV) - When you hear the words "Tonawanda Coke"-- what do you think of?
A.) A coal burning plant on River Rd.
B.) A plant in the same town which bottles Coke, as in Coca-Cola?
If you chose B, you're not alone-- and it's not a good thing for the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Buffalo.
The "real" Tonawanda Coke is a coal burning plant which has been slapped with numerous fines and violations recently for releasing high amounts of the dangerous chemical benzene into the air.
Some people are confused-- thinking it's the Coca-Cola plant causing all of the trouble.
So, General Manager and V.P. of the Coca-Cola plant, Peter Benzino, is hitting the airwaves to clear up the confusion.
"They are Tonawanda Coke Inc., we're the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Buffalo. We just happen to be located in the same town-- but we're totally separate," Benzino told Eyewitness News.
Benzino has been running radio ads promoting his company's green image.
"We follow all environmental rules and regulations," Benzino said.
Benzino launched the media blitz after much urging from his employees. Many of them said people were complaining to them in the street-- asking them to "clean up their act."
"We have a Company Rep. who two weeks ago called me and said, what's going on with your company? I said, what do you mean? He replied: You're all over the news for polluting the air-- I said: that's not us!" Benzino said, recalling a recent conversation.
Benzino says he's worked long and hard to build the Coca-Cola name here in Buffalo and does not want to see it tarnished in confusion.
"Coca-Cola is the most recognized brand name in the world we all know that-- It's very important for Coca-Cola to protect that and being a family owned business it's our obligation to protect that trade mark and our livelihood here," Benzino said.