Dr. Pepper's porn-laced promotion on Facebook was not what the doctor ordered

The headline in the UK Telegraph this week tells the gruesome story of a social media promotion gone terribly wrong: "Coca-Cola accused of using porn to target children on Facebook."

It has besmirched the brand reputation of Dr. Pepper, Coca-Cola, Facebook and the agency responsible for the promotion.

It seems that the folks at Dr Pepper (via their agency) posted a reference to a notorious pornographic film on the “wall” of an underage girl.

As part of the promotion, users allowed the company to hijack their Facebook status box, posting apparently embarrassing messages under their names.

Just the concept itself seems like a recipe for disaster.

Still, more than 160,000 people signed up for the hoax statuses, which included: “Lost my special blankie. How will I go sleepies?” and “What’s wrong with peeing in the shower?”

But the marketing drive backfired when a parent complained that her 14-year-old daughter’s hijacked status claimed that she had watched a hardcore pornographic film which is notorious for the obscene practices it depicts.The folks at Dr. Pepper/Coca-Cola have since removed the status update from the application, and have decided to end the promotion. A spokesperson has said "We will take all steps necessary to ensure this does not happen again".

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