Pepsi refuse to pay out to competition winner
Remember Pepsi running a competition where you could win £500 every hour? Well, one chap thought he'd snagged a load of loot, but Pepsi didn't want to pay up.
As such, the ASA have gone after the drinkco, and found that they are indeed, in breach of advertising rules.
The promo said that you could win £500 every hour if you emailed or texted the last four digits of the barcode on the product, and one customer won hundreds of times. Pepsi gave him £500 and told him to sling it. They were only prepared to pay one prize per entrant.
However, the ASA investigated and found that this restriction wasn't clear enough and told Pepsi to "ensure promotions were administered fairly and that significant conditions of promotions were made clear in future", even though it appears that the winner may have been using a robot to enter multiple times.
An ASA spokesman said: "Pepsi said over the first six weeks of the promotional period, one entrant and his family had entered over 11,000 times using a high number of slightly varying e-mail addresses, which equated to over 35 entries per draw and with some draws being entered more than 500 times within the hour."
"Members of the family’s entries had been selected as the winner on multiple occasions. However, there was a delay between those wins being confirmed and the entries, which came from one IP address over a long period of time, being identified as having been automatically generated."
PepsiCo said it was justified for promoters to withhold prizes if participants had not met the criteria set out in the t&cs, noting that bulk entries were not valid. Alas, elsewhere, a second complaint noted that the entry codes weren't unique and had been posted online, which means that anyone could enter, even those who hadn't bought any Pepsi, but the ASA rejected the complaint.
Of course, Pepsi didn't help themselves in their bid to look fair by having Didier Drogba as the face of their promotion, so they've only themselves to blame.