The worst thing which could have happened with the Dr Pepper status update fiasco is that they gave out the girls address, phone number and sent out sordid lies about her. That didn’t happen.

The whole Mumsnet Vs Coca-Cola situation has descended from Mrs. Rickman’s original and valid concern, to a ‘Jeremy Kyle’ style slagging match. The point to this, as I mentioned earlier today, is YES it was a very foolish PR error to allow such a status into their brilliantly funny status takeover app, but the teenager in question didn’t even see what it was about. Whilst she could have remained innocent, she now finds herself at the center of a wide media exposure on what was implied. So if she didn’t know before, Mumsnet can be thanked for telling her and the thousands of other ‘kids’ who are fans of Dr. Pepper on Facebook (Mumsnet isn’t listed as an adult site, and the said site now has streams of information on the nasty scat porn implied in the said status).

Below is the original complaint from Mrs Rickman. And below that, a tiny percentage of the support on Facebook, and outcry as people balance one mum’s concern over her daughter’s online activity with a superbly crafted and on the whole excellently funny application which DOES point out that you  WILL be embarrassed. Thanks to Mumsnet, the entire media is reporting the fiasco to the country. So every Facebook fan of Dr. Pepper, and every kid watching the news tonight will now be aware of it too.

The brand lesson to be learned is the same as it is for Scout Leaders: don’t say anything which can be taken in the wrong way, even if in jest, and don’t assume people won’t get ‘in-joke’ sexual references.

And as with Scouts, what often starts out as fun, ends with someone getting hurt. In this case, luckily, not the teen, but the millions of people who enjoyed the brilliant application as proved below…

Extra reading:

Insight from WaveMetrix

The view from the irreverent ‘I am the Client!’