"We have children here getting mangled in the crowd…" Pepsi promo goes wrong

Sometimes I simply can’t believe this world we live in. Here’s a story about a Pepsi free ticket givewaway at Yankee stadium that went very bad. Apparently there weren’t enough free tickets so Yankee fans expecting a free ticket were miffed, to say the least. Watch the video. I can’t believe it. Well, yes I can. I talk here a lot about toxic talk, about the hair trigger outrage, how quickly people today seem to get ticked off and scream about how they are being abused.

If you watch the video you see the outraged woman very animated and then she says: “We have children being mangled in the crowd..” So the ticket shortage has turned Pepsi into children manglers. She concludes “The boycott starts right here!”

Alright, this is pretty extreme, but if you look at almost any problem that occurs today you get at least some of this outrage, this sense of being victimized, this anger against the brands and the big corporations.

Lessons for crisis communicators and senior executives. Yesterday it was Dominos. Today it is Pepsi. When will it be your turn?

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