A Dr Pepper promotion revolving around Guns N' Roses' new album has gone flat--and the band is getting the misdirected static.
The soda pop maker launched a marketing campaign in March that promised a free soda to "everyone in America" if the rock band released its long-awaited Chinese Democracy album this year. After a 17-year wait, the band finally released the album--and Dr Pepper gave fans 24 hours to go to its Web site to print a coupon for their free soda.
But apparently fans' thirst was greater than Dr Pepper predicted--or prepared for. The crush of visitors to the site crashed the site's servers, leading to a lot of angry fans, some of whom mistakenly blamed the band for their lack of liquid refreshment. Now frontman Axl Rose and his bandmates are ready to pop.
"When you go on the blogs and you read the responses from the fans, they associated Axl with this promotion...and blame him for the fact that they didn't get their free soda," Laurie Soriano, the band's lawyer, told CNN. "We've gone public with the fact that we are not involved but are trying to clean up the mess."
Dr Pepper told CNN that it had "taken great steps" to keep its part of the deal and that it had extended the window for the giveaway from 24 to 42 hours. The drink maker also set up a toll-free line to handle consumer requests for the coupons. All of those measures have since expired.
Despite those measures, the band is still waiting for its apology.
"The door to a lawsuit being filed is always open until the fans are taken care of and Dr Pepper has done the right thing," Soriano told CNN.