Rose Isn’t Much of A Pepper

Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses is taking legal action against Dr. Pepper. The singer is upset about the soda makers botched giveaway associated with the release of his band’s “Chinese Democracy” album.
According to Ad Age, Rose’s lawyer Alan Gutman “pounced on the soft-drink marketer, claiming it failed to deliver on its promise to give out the free sodas, turning what began as a great public-relations stunt into a public-relations mess for Dr Pepper.”
“In and of itself this campaign brazenly violated our clients’ rights in numerous respects,” Gutman said. “Unfortunately, Dr Pepper has now magnified the damage this campaign has caused through its appalling failure to make good on a promise it made to the American public.”
Rose is seeking payment for the unauthorized use of the Guns N’ Roses brand and he wants full page apology ads run in several national newspapers.
Dr Pepper’s plan was to distribute the sodas through a coupon strategy in which consumers had to register at the brand’s website. But the beverage company’s website servers crashed due to the high number of people seeking coupons. Dr Pepper extended the offe but some consumers said they were still unable to claim their free soda through the site or a toll-free number.
Not having the fulfillment end of a promotion covered is a disaster. In this case, it sounds like the idea for the promotion came from the client and was managed by the PR agency, not the promotions agency. Even so, all boxes need to be checked.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.