In March, soft drink manufacturer Dr Pepper made a promise that if the long-awaited Guns ‘N’ Roses album Chinese Democracy, that had been almost 14 years in the making, came out on the market during 2008, they would give every American a can of Dr Pepper.
When the album eventually was released on November 23, Dr Pepper announced they would keep their promise, which of course was a great PR opportunity. People haven’t been talking like this about Dr Pepper for years. So on the Sunday of the album release, they gave fans 24 hours to go to the web site for a coupon they could exchange for a can of soda. But the site got so many visitors that it crashed. And although the deadline was extended one day, to Monday of this week, fans were angered. Now Guns ‘N’ Roses front man Axl Rose sent his lawyers after Dr Pepper because it didn’t deliver on its promise:
The Washington Post reports:
“The album came out, but the sodamaker’s coupon-offering Web site malfunctioned. And though the promotion was extended, Alan Gutman, the band’s Beverly Hills attorney, demanded a full-page apology in major daily newspapers and “an appropriate payment to our clients for the unauthorized use and abuse of their publicity and intellectual property rights,” according to the AP. No sum was specified.”
Talk about a missed PR opportunity.