Heed lesson from the cola giants: Tighten cap on your trade secrets

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in Human Resources

Now's a good time to review your policy on protecting confidential information, such as product samples. Restrict access to as few employees as possible, and take swift action if you learn of any security breaches. As the biggest cola competitors discovered, trade-secret thieves will try anything.

PepsiCo recently came to the rescue of its chief competitor, Atlanta-based Coca Cola. The former administrative assistant for Coke's global brand director and two others were indicted for allegedly stealing new product samples and confidential documents and trying to sell them to PepsiCo.

Apparently, the competitor didn't want any part of the deal and contacted Coca Cola. The company cooperated with federal agents, who arrested the three on the same day they planned to make a $1.5 million deal with PepsiCo.

Final tip: If a competitor's employee approaches you with an offer like the one in the PepsiCo case, do the right thing. 

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