So maybe I’m asking the obvious, but I wonder sometimes whether or not the product development people/advertising people/marketing people at a big (or small firm for that matter) talk to the PR people before launching a product. If that happened more often, perhaps we’d have fewer incidents of companies pulling their products off the shelves (or removing them from online retail spots, etc.) due to the product’s offensive nature.
I don’t know what they were thinking (maybe they forgot that part—the thinking part) when the folks at PepsiCo (or maybe it was a consultant? A highly-paid consultant?!) decided to offer the “Amp Up Before You Score” Apple iPhone application. How could PepsiCo think that being edgy would mask the distastefulness of the product? And what kind of focus groups did they have?
The app was created to help market the company’s AMP energy drink and offers some questionable advice for picking up different types of women and then boasting about one’s conquests. Ew. That’s all I can think of. Not very articulate, I know, but how disappointing. Did no one consider the backlash that might occur? Usually it’s the PR people who look into their proverbial crystal balls and aren’t afraid to tell the client (in-house or not) what might not look so rosy after all. And yes, few of us like to be the messengers of bad news, but come on. Do you think the PepsiCo people who dreamed up this app had any idea that the product would cause such a stir? Maybe. Maybe not. Tell me what you think.