Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
6 Months Ended
Jun. 29, 2012
Summary of significant accounting policies  
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
Basis of Presentation
The accompanying unaudited Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States for interim financial information and with the instructions to Form 10-Q and Rule 10-01 of Regulation S-X. They do not include all information and notes required by generally accepted accounting principles for complete financial statements. However, except as disclosed herein, there has been no material change in the information disclosed in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in the Annual Report on Form 10-K of The Coca-Cola Company for the year ended December 31, 2011.
When used in these notes, the terms "The Coca-Cola Company," "Company," "we," "us" or "our" mean The Coca-Cola Company and all entities included in our condensed consolidated financial statements. In the opinion of management, all adjustments (including normal recurring accruals) considered necessary for a fair presentation have been included. Operating results for the three and six months ended June 29, 2012, are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected for the year ending December 31, 2012. Sales of our ready-to-drink nonalcoholic beverages are somewhat seasonal, with the second and third calendar quarters accounting for the highest sales volumes. The volume of sales in the beverage business may be affected by weather conditions.
Each of our interim reporting periods, other than the fourth interim reporting period, ends on the Friday closest to the last day of the corresponding quarterly calendar period. The second quarter of 2012 and 2011 ended on June 29, 2012, and July 1, 2011, respectively. Our fourth interim reporting period and our fiscal year end on December 31 regardless of the day of the week on which December 31 falls.
Certain amounts in the prior year's condensed consolidated financial statements and notes have been revised to conform to the current year presentation.
Advertising Costs
The Company's accounting policy related to advertising costs for annual reporting purposes, as disclosed in Note 1 of our 2011 Annual Report on Form 10-K, is to expense production costs of print, radio, television and other advertisements as of the first date the advertisements take place. All other marketing expenditures are expensed in the annual period in which the expenditure is incurred.
For interim reporting purposes, we allocate our estimated full year marketing expenditures that benefit multiple interim periods to each of our interim reporting periods. We use the proportion of each interim period's actual unit case volume to the estimated full year unit case volume as the basis for the allocation. This methodology results in our marketing expenditures being recognized at a standard rate per unit case. At the end of each interim reporting period, we review our estimated full year unit case volume and our estimated full year marketing expenditures in order to evaluate if a change in estimate is necessary. The impact of any changes in these full year estimates is recognized in the interim period in which the change in estimate occurs. Our full year marketing expenditures are not impacted by this interim accounting policy.
Pension and Other Postretirement Benefit Plans
Effective January 1, 2012, the Company elected to change our accounting methodology for determining the market-related value of assets for our U.S. qualified defined benefit pension plans. The market-related value of assets is used to determine the Company's expected return on assets, a component of our annual pension expense calculation. The Company previously used a smoothing technique to calculate our market-related value of assets which reflected changes in the fair value over no more than five years. However, we now use the actual fair value of plan assets to determine our expected return on those assets for all of our defined benefit plans. Although both methods are permitted under accounting principles generally accepted in the United States, the Company believes our new methodology is preferable as it accelerates the recognition of gains and losses in the determination of our annual pension expense.
The Company's change in accounting methodology has been applied retrospectively, and we have adjusted all applicable prior period financial information presented herein as required. The cumulative effect of this change on retained earnings as of January 1, 2011, was an increase of $59 million, with an offset to accumulated other comprehensive income (“AOCI”). The impact of this change on the Company's income before income taxes was an increase of $1 million and $2 million during the three and six months ended June 29, 2012, respectively. In addition, the Company's income before income taxes increased $5 million and $10 million as a result of this change during the three and six months ended July 1, 2011, respectively. The impact on the Company's earnings per share was not significant for any of the financial statement periods presented in this report.