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Yesterday, Kate McMahon wrote scathingly about a new iPhone application created for Pepsi’s Amp energy drink, which tells guys how to score with 24 “types” – such as Sorority Girl, Cougar, Rebound Chick and Goth – and provides pickup lines and links to resources for the effort. The app then gives them options for posting information about their conquests online.

In Kate’s column, she reported on the outrage that greeted the app, and that while pepsi did issue an apology, it did not pull the application off the Internet. She called it boorish and offensive...and I called it vile.

One MNB user responded:

While I might not agree with the concept or basis of the application, you have to admit it generated plenty of buzz about the brand within its core demographic, and got its name into their hands through their cell phones. It isn’t a new concept (young people going out looking for others) and isn’t going away anytime soon; however, making it blatantly obvious through a worldwide company isn’t the best approach. Maybe Pepsi was banking that its woman consumers wouldn’t figure out the link to its Amp product.

Another MNB user wrote:

Give me a break! Women are engaged in this “ Kind of Discourse” every day. Look at the cover of Cosmo, hit their online site and tell me what you see. Now what do you have to say about all the advertisers that promote their products monthly in that magazine?

Did you even take a look at the app to see what is about?

I hope Pepsi doesn’t take it down, apparently it is on the “edge of the road” not the “middle of road” that you now get run over! Funny how you conveniently view things...where’s your balance?

Well, excuuuuuse me.

Yes, I looked at it. I am no less appalled. I would be appalled if my daughter went out with someone who used the app, and I’d be equally appalled if I found out that my sons were using it.

This has nothing to do with me not being balanced. It has to do with common sense. Edgy is one thing, but this is off the cliff.

Another MNB user wrote:

Just had to throw my 2 cents in on this Pepsi App.  I am absolutely horrified and cannot believe a team of professionals would believe this is either appropriate or funny.  I volunteer for a local agency supporting victims of Sexual Assault, and one of our key objectives is to educate men and women on safe, healthy and respectful dating practices.  Women are not objects or categories and “humor” like this serves only to perpetuate negative stereotypes and damaging behavior.   This isn’t political correctness talking; its common sense and respect.  There is no excuse for this; Pepsi should be ashamed here and act immediately to take down this app.

And still another MNB user wrote:

I’d really like to see a list of the things Indra Nooyi has done well at Pepsi.  I know people who know her and have great things to say about her.  I don’t follow the company that closely, but with things like this and the Peter Arnell/breathtaking Tropicana  debacle, she does not come off looking so good.

Responding to Michael Sansolo’s column earlier this week, MNB user Thomas D. Murphy wrote:

As a long-time IT executive, I would like to side with Michael’s perspective from FMI Future Connect, that “IT is not the problem”.  Of course, if IT is not the problem, then the business must be the problem.  However, I can’t side with either of these arguments as it is not an “either/or” situation.  In my 35+ years of experience, the problem is two-fold: 1) generally poor communication and 2) inability of each party to understand the needs/problems of the other from the other’s perspective (as Michael noted).

If these problems did not exist, my financial existence as a grocery industry IT consultant would be KAPUT!  In most of my engagements, I work with business and IT executives to improve communications, facilitate understanding and align business strategies with IT strategies.  I am always amazed by how little both parties tend to effectively communicate until they are locked in a room with a common objective barring their exit!  A common enemy, the competition or “the old way of doing things” usually breaks down the barrier.  The business always wonders why IT can’t install a system quickly (as if they – the business - can locate land and build a store quickly!) while IT wonders why the business can’t describe everything they want and all current and future business rules (IT calls these “specifications”).  Fact is, this will never change from either perspective.  Only communication and understanding can solve this problem – and it usually takes a 3rd party to bring this about.

I also got a number of emails yesterday following the departure of CEO Eric Claus from A&P, suggesting that it was too bad that Jim Donald had taken the top job at Haggen...since as the former CEO of Pathmark (now owned by A&P), he’d be perfect to replace Claus.

To which I would respond: I wouldn’t wish that job on anyone. If Eric Claus couldn’t make it work, I don’t know who could.

Besides, I’m half convinced that A&P is either going to be sold, or that Pathmark will be sold off. Because it certainly can’t be business as usual there, especially because from what I hear, the staff in Montvale is pretty devastated.
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