This week, PepsiCo got into hot water with more than a few folks after some suicide-themed ads many found offensive were brought to light. Here's how they're using social media to apologize to consumers -- including me.
I received an e-mail from B. Bonin Bough of PepsiCo, @boughb on Twitter, responding to my tweet about the post that Matt Creamer wrote a couple days ago, "Pepsi Opens a Vein of Controversy With New Suicide-Themed Ads", regarding some ads that were run here in Germany in a lifestyle magazine. Pepsi says the ads won't run again after it received heavy criticism all over the web.
I'll excerpt the first part of the e-mail from Mr. Bough, who holds the title of director-social and emerging media and is based at Pepsi's Purchase, N.Y., campus:
I saw your tweet and I just wanted to make sure I responded personally. We agree this creative is totally inappropriate; we apologize and please know it won't run again. Also, thanks for the feedback and the Digg, it is important to discuss these types of issues.
My best friend committed suicide and this is a topic very close to my heart. So again I offer my deepest apologies.
Feel free to follow-up via twitter to me - @boughb or Huw - @huwgilbert or respond to this email.
I know you all think I am going to mock Bonin, but I won't. I think this was a very bold and risky maneuver and worthy of praise rather than a tarring and feathering. And his outreach to me, a nobody, was accomplished within two days. When I replied to Bonin, asking if I might be allowed to post his e-mail, he replied back that I could post his e-mail but to try to "treat it kindly." I hope I am.