A very major booboo
committed during the early nineties (1991 to be exact) in .ph
, it also earned them a very prestigious Ignoble Award
. It started out as a numbers game where you would get some 3 digit random number
in the cap
s and crown
s of Pepsi
or Pepsi bottled soda pop bottles
and at the end of the day, a winning number would be announced. If your number was called, whatever amount indicated therein was yours.
The promo worked like a charm, Pepsi sales were boosted significantly, until that fateful day, May 26, 1992, two weeks into their extension of the Number Fever promo. They somehow announced a "wrong" winning number, that winning number was 349. By the time they realized their mistake that there could have been 800,000 or more of those caps and crowns marked 349, it was too late. Their announcement of a new winning number was not well taken and riots erupted at prize redemption centers.
Pepsi made a decision to pay 500 pesos for each 349 cap or crown, the offer was good for two weeks only. Some gave up and just took the five hundred pesos, still others formed a coalition, they called it coalition 349, and fought Pepsi in the courts. Pepsico .ph never paid up, though they were probably saying the truth when they said they really could not pay up, that mistake should at least have been fatal for them. This blatant disregard for the consumers must not be tolerated and any company that commits such mindless mistakes should be burned to the ground. (Glorious images of burning a giant office in Redmond dance in my head).
Pass me the coca-cola, not that one, the one with coke in it. Thanks.