Advanced search

Need help with a very sensitive complaint against a massive multinational!

(1409 Posts)
MrsRickman Fri 16-Jul-10 17:58:45

Ok, here goes.
Coca Cola are running a promo via their Dr Pepper brand just now on facebook. It is called 'status takeover' and involves the application putting an embarrassing or funny status on your FB page.
My 14 yo dd participated and I was HORRIFIED to log into FB and see that her status read - 'I watched 2 girls one cup and felt hungry afterwards'. For anyone who doesn't know what this means, please stay ignorant, for those who do, you can imagine how I felt. This was compounded later on when a quick search through dds internet history revealed she had tried to find out what it was for herself. Thankfully, our ISP has a wonderful child filter!!
So, after various emails and phonecalls to CocaCola marketing I have been offered (quite offensively) as way of compensation, a night in a hotel and theatre tickets for the West End. Fat lot of use to me, we live in Glasgow.
So, how do I proceed? ASA? I am absolutely fizzing with rage and disgust, and want a full apology and explanation. CocaCola are saying they use outside marketing teams for different brands and it's outside their jurisdiction. Help!?

janeite Fri 16-Jul-10 18:30:55

But have Coca Cola actually encouraged the use of such a horrible expression? Or did your daughter find it herself? Am a bit confused but know nowt about Facebook, so I may be being dim...

If it was my daughter, I'd be livid with her.

MrsRickman Fri 16-Jul-10 18:33:29

I have a screen grab of my dd's FB page with the status on it, but to be honest,I am concerned about going to the press as I am a very private person and would never want my daughter or our business splashed all over the press. However, I am a fiercely political person and can't just let this go.
I hadn't considered the police.

Wineonafridaynight Fri 16-Jul-10 18:34:06

Jane - I think from looking at the competition, by entering you somehow allow coca cola to access your facebook page and give them permission to change your status.

MrsRickman Fri 16-Jul-10 18:35:12

No Janeite, my daughter didn't put it on her FB. Dr Pepper (a Coca Cola brand) 'takeover' your status once a day and put something embarrassing on it.You have no control over what it might say.

Wineonafridaynight Fri 16-Jul-10 18:36:01

hmmm. I wouldn't want to go to the press either unless possibly they agreed not to reveal who I am.

I have just found this article:

It doesn't mention an agency behind it and usually in marketing mags the agency would be keen to promote themselves so I would say it is probably run by coca cola internally. I could be wrong though.

janeite Fri 16-Jul-10 18:36:47

Oh right - in that case it is beyond disgusting. I told you I was probably being dim! Deffo go to the press.

blinder Fri 16-Jul-10 18:38:22

I am wondering if MN Towers would take this up as part of their Let Girls be Girls campaign? Using scat porn references as marketing to teenage girls fits the remit surely?

bibbitybobbityhat Fri 16-Jul-10 18:39:12

I feel for you very deeply MrsR. Its difficult if you don't want to put the spotlight of publicity on yourself or your family.

But I don't know what else to suggest. Perhaps a threat of going to the press? Compose an email to the Times or Guardian, copy it to Coca Cola, tell them you will hit send if ... what is it that you want?

Caro1ine Fri 16-Jul-10 18:39:33

Ah, wow that is shocking. As a long time MN lurker, this is the thread that finally prompted me to post!

The media will pick this up in a heartbeat - it is likely to go down in the records as one of the worst examples of social media marketing ever.

BUT - think very carefully, the media will want to interview you and your daughter and how would you feel being on the 10 o clock news for this?

Best to threaten CocaCola with the media, but not actually do it?

HalfTermHero Fri 16-Jul-10 18:39:33

Agree that that is a disgrace where 14 yr olds are concerned. I second suggestion of speaking to police.

Wineonafridaynight Fri 16-Jul-10 18:39:45

Thinking about it. I probably wouldn't want to go to the press but I would want to tell them that the compensation they offered was insulting and showed a total lack of awareness of the issue. I would then want to know what methods they are putting in place to ensure it doesn't happen again and also ask if they are investigating the incident and say you would like an explanation as to how it happened?

I would probably threaten with going to the press and the with legal action and point out the criminal offences they could be subject to when posting things like that on a 14 year olds statys.

scurryfunge Fri 16-Jul-10 18:40:59

Right, I understand it now. Not on, and I would be livid.

mrspir8 Fri 16-Jul-10 18:42:31

I seriously think you could sue them for this. Really, but if you do and the media gets hold of it-which they may already have seeing as it's on mumsnet, be prepared for press.

It's utterly disgraceful. Do not be fobbed off by apologies, taking that phrase off the compo is not enough to cover the potential trauma involved.

It's probably been sent out to more teens than yours. Just becaause your internet filter worked that doesn't mean that its has been the same for everyone. Also are you certain your daughter will not find out about it from another source-computers at friends houses for example? Sone lad with internet access on his phone. Now that her curiosity has been piqued there is higher risk of exposure-thats not her fault. It's coca colas.

POFAKKEDDthechair Fri 16-Jul-10 18:43:59

I would go to the police. And consult a solicitor. How anyone thought this was suitable for age 14 and up is highly depressing. And it also shows that they are assuming those that are logging into the competition are boys, and boys watch porn, of course. hmm Revolting. I think you should also go to the press, as that would cause maximum embarrassent to coca cola, but difficult if you want to stay anonymous I suppose.

bibbitybobbityhat Fri 16-Jul-10 18:44:04

Am so outraged on your behalf angry.

Am boycotting coca cola from now on.

What other brands do they own?

QueeferSutherland Fri 16-Jul-10 18:49:45


MrsR, what do you think they should do?

Clearly whoever wrote it should be fired/disciplined.
How would you like this to pan out?


MrsRickman Fri 16-Jul-10 18:51:46

I am so grateful for all your support. I know now I am not over reacting. Re : exposure on mumsnet, I hadn't even considered that! Now that I have all your kind advice, is it possible this thread could be deleted so I can proceed? How would I go about that?
I have decided to contact ASA in the morning to get some professional advice.
Thank you for your input, it's really steeled my determination to take this further.

twoistwiceasfun Fri 16-Jul-10 18:53:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lauriefairycake Fri 16-Jul-10 18:54:16

You started the thread so you can delete it - just report your own thread.

Don't forget to phone the police for advice - I really think they might be interested in doing something about this.

They basically encouraged your daughter to look up hard core extreme pornography.

Please let us know how it turns out.

colditz Fri 16-Jul-10 18:57:26

Ring the police. They have exposed your child to illegal porn, and encouraged other people to see her as a sexually active woman, when she is in fact a child.

mrspir8 Fri 16-Jul-10 18:57:31

before this thread dissaapears, then very good luck and really do follow this up!

snice Fri 16-Jul-10 18:58:38

usually with these sort of things I think 'oh well, not my sense of humour but ok'
But this is so vile I am horrified and would be taking it further myself. How anyone in a position of authority could possibly have rubber stamped something so degrading and disgusting is beyond me

Eleison Fri 16-Jul-10 18:59:03

Jesus, that is utterly utterly unacceptable. And also, even though we are all geeting sickeningly accustomed to extremely inaapropriate prn images cropping up everywhere, it is actually very surprising that Coke should brief its advertising agents in asuch a way that they ended up producing shit like this. They are a family brand, and the promo was meant to be suitable for 14yo.

ASA, press, Coke, MP, Facebook: it would be brilliant if you could approach them all if you had the time and patience.

Sorry your dd saw this.

escorchio Fri 16-Jul-10 18:59:56

Good luck. I am completely disgusted. I hope your daughter (and mine) never find out what it means.

treedelivery Fri 16-Jul-10 19:00:11

You are right to take this on op.

Although I will say that they didn't actually encourage your daughter to look up hard core porn as such. Surely? She could have posted about dropping her phone down the loo or something innocent. No doubt she heard this phrase somewhere and thought it would di nicely, having no idea what it means.

Their fault was in allowing the fb status to 'stand' - it clearly needed removing as soon as it was posted. They are 100% in the wrong here.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: