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APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
Welcome to Appetite for Discussion -- a Guns N' Roses fan forum!

Please feel free to look around the forum as a guest, I hope you will find something of interest. If you want to join the discussions or contribute in other ways then you need to become a member. We especially welcome anyone who wants to share documents for our archive or would be interested in translating or transcribing articles and interviews.

Registering is free and easy.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

2008.11.26 - Billboard - Guns N' Roses' Lawyer Blasts Dr Pepper (& other related articles)

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Post by Blackstar Sun May 23, 2021 3:09 pm

Guns N' Roses' Lawyer Blasts Dr Pepper

By Andre Paine, London

Guns N' Roses' and Axl Rose's lawyer has castigated Dr Pepper, accusing the soda maker of failing to deliver on its "Chinese Democracy" (Black Frog/Geffen) free soda promotion, which the band was never involved in.

Beverly Hills-based Alan Gutman has written to Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. president and CEO Larry Young, accusing the company of operating an online redemption scheme that was an "unmitigated disaster which defrauded customers." Gutman is demanding that Dr Pepper makes good on its offer by extending the period for the offer; he also wants full-page apologies in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal.

Gutman's letter makes clear his view that the original campaign was an "exploitation of my clients' legendary reputation and their eagerly awaited album" and "brazenly violated our clients' rights." He is also seeking an "appropriate payment... for the unauthorized use and abuse of their publicity and intellectual property rights," with the threat of further action if an acceptable offer is not made.

"Now is the time to clean up the mess," says Gutman.

Rose did not take any action when, in March, Dr Pepper put out a press release offering free soda to any American if the long-awaited Guns N' Roses album came out before the end of 2008. However, Rose has reacted to the news that fans have been unable to get their soda following the Nov. 23 release of "Chinese Democracy."

Dr Pepper's Web servers crashed under the demand for coupons that could be exchanged for free drinks. Dr Pepper extended the Nov. 23 promotion for an extra day, but the company's Web site was inaccessible for a substantial part of it.

"Dr Pepper was completely unprepared for the traffic to its site," says Gutman in the letter, describing the promotion as a "complete fiasco."

Gutman adds: "The entire point of your campaign has been to use public interest in Axl Rose and Guns N' Roses as a lure to increase consumer awareness of Dr Pepper." He further states that "mocking undertones" in the online promotional content represent a "raw and damaging commercial exploitation of our clients' rights," adding that the association is "even more damaging in light of your shoddy execution of your disingenuous giveaway offer."

The soda maker declined to comment. Dr Pepper was considering extending the promotion, according to a source close to the situation.

https://web.archive.org/web/20081202231924/http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/content_display/industry/e3iac81cb9ace3320f89f3267e4edc67974
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2008.11.26 - Billboard - Guns N' Roses' Lawyer Blasts Dr Pepper (& other related articles) Empty Re: 2008.11.26 - Billboard - Guns N' Roses' Lawyer Blasts Dr Pepper (& other related articles)

Post by Blackstar Sun May 23, 2021 3:12 pm

Los Angeles Times' Pop & Hiss Blog, November 26:
-------------------------------------------------------------

Guns N' Roses' lawyer to Dr Pepper: 'Our clients are outraged at your treatment of their fans'

Guns N' Roses lawyer Alan S. Gutman has lashed out at the Dr Pepper Snapple Group, claiming in a letter to the company that the soda makers failed to make good on a promise and "violated" Guns N' Roses' rights in "numerous respects."

In the letter, obtained by The Times, Gutman writes that W. Axl Rose and Guns N' Roses are "outraged at the treatment of their fans and the American public in general." Earlier this year, Dr Pepper officials teased that they would give everyone in the country a free soda if the band's album “Chinese Democracy” arrived before the year was out. Gutman writes that the promotion was "clumsily implemented " and an "unmitigated disaster."

After the release of "Chinese Democracy" was officially announced this fall, Tony Jacobs, Dr Pepper's vice president of marketing, posted at www.chinesedemocracywhen.blogspot.com: “We never thought this day would come. But now that it’s here, all we can say is: The Dr. Pepper’s on us.”

As Pop & Hiss noted Sunday, Dr Pepper's website was flooded with customers, who had 24 hours to fill out a voucher for a free soda on Nov. 23, the day "Chinese Democracy" was released exclusively to Best Buy. Fans who submitted their information to the site would receive a coupon for a free 20-ounce bottle of Dr Pepper. When Dr Pepper's site failed to respond to the traffic, the company extended the offer through Monday.

Writes Gutman, "What happened on November 23 was a complete fiasco. In what could only be characterized as reckless indifference or complete stupidity, Dr Pepper was completely unprepared for the traffic to its site. Most visitors were greeted with error messages. Some people who got through to Dr Pepper's servers were told to call a toll free number, few of whom got through. Many walked away angry as Dr Pepper ... soured the momentous music event that was 'Chinese Democracy's' release."

Gutman is requesting that Dr Pepper "contact us to discuss an appropriate payment to our clients" for the unofficial brand association. Gutman is also requesting the company run a full-page ad in a number of major American newspapers, including the L.A. Times, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, apologizing for the way the campaign was run. Finally, Gutman is asking Dr Pepper to expand the redemption window for the free soda offer to "make good on its promise."

A Dr Pepper spokesperson responded with a statement. "For us, this was a fun giveaway that has always been about the fans, and we’ve taken great steps to fulfill it." The company said it extended the giveaway window from 24 to 48 hours, added a toll-free line and set up "an interactive voice recorder to accept coupon requests."

"This was one of the largest responses we have ever received for a giveaway, and we’re happy we were able to satisfy the thirst of so many Dr Pepper fans," read the statement.

When the Dr Pepper promotion was announced in March -- when "Chinese Democracy" had no release date -- Dr Pepper noted that everyone in America, excluding former GNR guitarists Slash and Buckethead -- would be granted a free soda. Soon after, a statement attributed to Rose was posted on the official Guns N' Roses website, and back then, the band seemed game for the marketing ploy.

2008.11.26 - Billboard - Guns N' Roses' Lawyer Blasts Dr Pepper (& other related articles) Gnr_ma10

A screenshot is above, but read the Rose comment, "We are surprised and very happy to have the support of Dr Pepper with our album 'Chinese Democracy,' as for us, this came totally out of the blue. If there is any involvement with this promotion by our record company or others, we are unaware of such at this time. And as some of Buckethead's performances are on our album, I'll share my Dr Pepper with him."

Gutman's letter writes that all contact between GNR's management and Dr Pepper "foundered," and ends with a threat: "Failure to make an acceptable offer may necessitate our client's pursuit of available remedies."

--Todd Martens

https://web.archive.org/web/20081231053738/http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/music_blog/2008/11/guns-n-roses-la.html
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2008.11.26 - Billboard - Guns N' Roses' Lawyer Blasts Dr Pepper (& other related articles) Empty Re: 2008.11.26 - Billboard - Guns N' Roses' Lawyer Blasts Dr Pepper (& other related articles)

Post by Blackstar Sun May 23, 2021 3:19 pm

Images of the letter from Blabbermouth, November 26:
------------------------------------------------------------------

Guns N' Roses Vs. Dr Pepper: Complete Letter Available

Blabbermouth.net has obtained a copy of the entire three-page letter (see below) that was sent by Guns N' Roses' and Axl Rose's lawyer to Dr Pepper, accusing the soda maker of failing to deliver on its "Chinese Democracy" free soda promotion, which the band was never involved in.

[...]

2008.11.26 - Billboard - Guns N' Roses' Lawyer Blasts Dr Pepper (& other related articles) 30623210
2008.11.26 - Billboard - Guns N' Roses' Lawyer Blasts Dr Pepper (& other related articles) 30623211
2008.11.26 - Billboard - Guns N' Roses' Lawyer Blasts Dr Pepper (& other related articles) 30614810

https://archive.blabbermouth.net/news/guns-n-roses-vs-dr-pepper-complete-letter-available/
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