Guns N' Roses' Lawyer Says Dr. Pepper Giveaway Was Fraud… Even Though Axl Rose Liked It
from the you're-a-pepper-too dept
Ben S. writes in to let us know that the lawyer for Guns N’ Roses is now accusing Dr. Pepper of fraud for its well publicized give-away of free bottles of the soft drink along with the release of GNR’s Chinese Democracy album. As you’re probably aware, the album has been delayed for years, and a Dr. Pepper exec announced earlier this year that if the album actually came out in 2008, the company would give free Dr. Pepper to everyone. The complaint from GNR’s lawyer seems to pick up on two points — which somewhat contradict each other. First, he’s upset about the giveaway in that it suggests some sort of endorsement by the band of Dr. Pepper. In some ways, this is similar to the recent dispute between 50 Cent and Taco Bell. Like that case, it’s difficult to see the damage done here, as there’s no explicit endorsement. However, the second part of the “fraud” complaint seems to be that, given that the promotion went forward, GNR is upset that Dr. Pepper screwed it up. There were apparently problems with the Dr. Pepper website on the day of the promotion, meaning that many people who expected to get a coupon for a free Dr. Pepper might not have gotten one.
The fear, then, is that since Dr. Pepper executed poorly on the giveaway (and people might think that the band was behind the promotion), consumers would be pissed off at the band about not receiving a free Dr. Pepper. I can sort of see the logic, though it’s difficult to believe that a GNR fan is suddenly going to hate the band because they didn’t get a free can of Dr. Pepper. Also, the claim about GNR being upset about Dr. Pepper’s use of GNR in its promotion is undermined by the fact that Axl Rose seemed quite happy by the promotion when it was first announced, writing on the band’s site at the time:
“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.”
To later claim to be upset that this promotion somehow was a “commercial exploitation” of the bands’ rights, seems undermined by that statement.