Published Nov 26, 2008Gun N Roses are threatening to take legal action against Dr. Pepper after the company "ruined the release day of Chinese Democracy with its free soda publicity stunt.
As previously reported, Dr. Pepper promised it would give every person in the U.S. (minus Slash and Buckethead) a free can of soda if GNR released their long-awaited Chinese Democracy album in 2008, which on November 23 the band did. In attempts to make good on its promise, the company told fans they could get their free can at the Dr. Pepper website on the 23rd, a move that led to several site crashes, a brief extension of the promotion and multiple complaints.
Now, according to a Rolling Stone report, Axl Roses lawyer Alan S. Gutman has sent a less-than-kind letter to Dr. Pepper CEO Larry Young, saying "the redemption scheme your company clumsily implemented for this offer was an unmitigated disaster which defrauded consumers and, in the eyes of vocal fans, ruined the day of Chinese Democracys release.
"Now its time to clean up the mess, the letter went on to say, adding that the band are seeking a public apology via newspaper ads, more time for Americans to claim their free soda and monetary damages from Dr. Pepper.
"As we all now know, Dr. Pepper created an expansive and highly publicized advertising campaign based solely on the exploitation of my cleints legendary reputation, the letter continues. "In and of itself this campaign brazenly violated our clients rights in numerous respects. 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.
"Our clients are outraged at your treatment of their fans and the American public in general. After it became clear that Chinese Democracy would be released in 2008, Dr. Pepper executive Tony Jacobs proudly proclaimed that Dr. Pepper would make good on its promise to give a free soda to everyone in America. It turned out that Dr. Pepper did not define everyone in America the same way as everyone in America defined everyone in America.
The letter concludes: "Had you wished to engage in a commercial tie-in with our clients, you should have negotiated a legitimate arrangement instead of hijacking their rights without payment. Rest assured, this misappropriation will not be free.
At press time, Dr. Pepper had yet to comment publicly on the situation.