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PepsiCo’s defense in Mountain Dew mouse trial backfires when story goes viral January 17, 2012

Posted by rmshepard in Uncategorized.
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In response to a 2009 lawsuit alleging that a man drank a can of Mountain Dew containing a dead mouse, lawyers for parent company PepsiCo argued that if true then the acid from the soda would have transformed the rodent into a “jelly-like substance.” The claim disputes the man’s observation that the mouse was fresh looking. PepsiCo’s lawyers elaborated that after just seven days the mouse “would have no calcium in its bones and bony structures” and that its “abdominal structure will rupture.” Additionally, the lawyers noted, “its cranial is also likely to rupture within that time period,” meaning that the mouse would have been unrecognizable since the complainant downed a can bottled 74 days before it was opened.

While the defense was based on interesting scientific studies, its disgusting imagery has made the story go viral, thus perhaps doing more damage to the Mountain Dew brand.

For more on the story, watch the first part of the following video:

Discussion Questions:

1.  Is PepsiCo’s defense convincing? Why, or why not?

2.  How does PepsiCo’s defense simultaneously hurt the Mountain Dew brand?

3.  How should PepsiCo respond now that the story of the lawsuit has gone viral?

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