Sorry folks, I'm going to be a spoil-sport again - bah, humbug. Contrary to popular belief, Coca-Cola's marketing team didn't invent the modern image of Santa Claus - you know, the big, fat, jolly, mince pie munching old git in a red-and-white suit with black boots. This is actually another urban legend.
This legend is not true. Although some versions of the Santa Claus figure still had him attired in various colors of outfits past the beginning of the 20th century, the jolly, ruddy, sack-carrying Santa with a red suit and flowing white whiskers had become the standard image of Santa Claus by the 1920s, several years before Sundlom drew his first Santa illustration for Coca-Cola. [Snopes]
However, no other company has pumped as much advertising and marketing money into the image as Coca-Cola have.
So there you have it. Next time someone tells you Coca-Cola invented Santa Claus as we know it, send them this way.