Heinz Ketchup Bottle Sends a Man to a Porn Site via a QR Code
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Posted on 27 Jul 2015 17:59




Heinz has enough trouble on its hands having to deal with French's audacious entry into the ketchup market. As if fighting the condiment wars weren't enough, now they have ketchup on their face after a QR code on a bottle of Heinz, instead of linking to a Heinz-owned website, linked to a hardcore German porn site, called FunDorado. Heinz is lucky ketchup is all it has on its face.

My apologies. Its hard to resist. In a story originally published a The Local, a German man named Daniel Korell had an older promotional bottle of Heinz ketchup which ran a promotion for a "design your own label" event, with a QR code pointing to a website where customers could design their labels.

The problem was that the label design campaign only ran from 2012 to 2014. Once the campaign ended, Heinz let the domain go. In case you aren't familiar with domains, this means they simply didn't pay the yearly fee and the domain expired, meaning it automatically went back into the public market. The German porn site then bought the domain for themselves.


Heinz ketchup bottle with mustard bottle behind

Is that a bottle of French's Mustard sneaking up on a bottle of Heinz?
Image by SunOfErat via wikimedia

Heinz ketchup bottle with mustard bottle behind

Is that a bottle of French's Mustard sneaking up on a bottle of Heinz?
Image by SunOfErat via wikimedia

Man Wins Award For Being the First Person to Use a QR Code

Needless to say, Korell was a bit upset to have been directed to a porn site instead of a Heinz website. However, since he was identified as the only man ever to use a QR code, the company gave him a lifetime supply of ketchup, to which he responded by saying, "if I had known I could get a lifetime supply of ketchup I would have looked at a whole lot more porn on the internet."

Scratch that last. My sources are unreliable. What happened is that Korell notified Heinz of the incident via the Heinz Facebook page, displaying a photo of QR code next to his smart phone, and the porn site side by side. "Your ketchup really isn't for underage people," he wrote. "Even if the bottle was a leftover, it's still in lots of households. It's incomprehensible that you didn't reserve the domain for one or two years. It really doesn't cost the Earth."

He's half-right, at least. The ketchup itself is innocent of any wrongdoing. It just sat in the bottle waiting to be squirted out. Wait, perhaps he is on to something. Heinz, however, really did blunder when they just allowed the domain to expire. It would have cost them next to nothing to hold on to the domain for a couple of years, until they could be assured most all of the bottles in consumer hands had been finished up. Maybe they figured the chances were slim that anyone would scan the code. The Heinz social team replied "We really regret the event very much and we're happy to take your suggestions for how we implement future campaigns on board."

A Soothing Balm of Ketchup

This was, to put it bluntly, a load of ketchup. Social media teams exists to make customers feel good about the product, and if they get angry, to "soothe" them. Taking suggestions is not really in the job description, although, in this case, you can be sure that the top brass actually did become aware of the problem! Instead of a lifetime supply of free ketchup, Korell got a ketchup bottle with a label of his design.

Showing even less taste than I've shown in this post, the German porn site FunDorado, actually responded in the same thread, saying that perhaps Heinz had confused their "Hot Pink" porn site with "Pink EZ Squirt" ketchup. Actually, that is just a pitiful comeback. Maybe its funnier in German? It has also been reported that the porn site offered Korell free membership to the site. Man, those guys, sheesh.

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