Lean Mean Fighting Machine under threat after Dr Pepper porn uproar

Coca-Cola is considering dropping Lean Mean Fighting Machine, the agency behind the disastrous Facebook campaign for Dr Pepper.

Dr Pepper
Dr Pepper

The company has been attacked by parent’s groups after its promotional Facebook campaign hijacked a 14-year-old girl’s status updates and made reference to a pornographic movie.

A Coca-Cola spokesperson says it has “’launched an investigation and will be reviewing our relationship with the agency”. Lean Mean Fighting Machine was only appointed to the account in April.

The offending status update pretended the young girl had watched a notorious scatalogical movie on YouTube called ’2 Girls 1 Cup’. The message read ’I watched 2 girls one cup and felt hungry afterwards’. The girl’s mother, Mrs Rickman, says her daughter searched for the movie after reading the status update, but was fortunately blocked by the child filter.

The spokesperson continues: “It has been brought to our attention that the Dr Pepper promotion on Facebook posted an offensive status update. We apologise for any offence caused. As soon as we became aware of this we took immediate action and removed the status update from the application. We have also taken the decision to end the promotion. We were unaware of the meaning of this line when the promotion was approved and have launched an investigation into why it was included. We take full responsibility and will be reviewing our promotional procedures. We will take all steps necessary to ensure this does not happen again”.

The opt-in Facebook campaign was playing off the ’Dr Pepper, what’s the worst that could happen?’ strapline. It encouraged Dr Pepper fans to sign up to an application that allowed their status box to be taken over by Coca-Cola. The app would then post embarassing or humourous messages as part of the campaign.

Other examples of the embarassing statuses included: “Lost my special blankie. How will I go sleepies?” and “What’s wrong with peeing in the shower?”. Facebook users who took part in the promotional campaign were entered into a weekly prize draw, with the chance of winning £1000. Over 160,000 signed up to the campaign and the cancelling of the competition has resulted in a flood of complaints.

This story first appeared on pitch

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here