Pepsi removes 'Amp Up' iPhone app, humanity rejoices

The application promoted use of Pepsi's "Amp" energy drink as a seduction tool

Having played the controversy for all the publicity it could generate, PepsiCo has now removed its controversial "Amp Up Before You Score" iPhone app from distribution.

"We've listened to a variety of audiences and determined this was the most appropriate course of action," the company said Thursday in a statement. It had earlier apologized online.

This, of course, sparks another wave of publicity for the application, criticized for its stereotypical depiction of both women and men, as well for general tackiness.

As recourse against this stunt, I am still boycotting Pepsi products. The application promoted use of Pepsi's "Amp" energy drink as a seduction tool.

The app offered "advice" to men on how to pick-up 24 different "types" of women, ranging from "aspiring actress" to "twins" and "women's studies major."

Once conquered, men could add women to their "brag list," and post the information to social networking pages.

I stand by my earlier comment that "Real Mean Don't 'Amp Up' Before They 'Score'" posted last Wednesday.

I had hoped at the time that Pepsi would quickly remove the offensive application and am furious that they let the initial negative backlash die down before pulling the app from the iPhone app store. Nothing like a company milking controversy for all it's worth, huh?

Indeed, it appears Pepsi's "apologies" are anything but authentic and this whole episode was engineered, start to finish, to maximize exposure for the energy drink.

I am aware that many people, mostly male people, think this issue is silliness. If the sexual objectification of women is silly, I guess so is the issue.

But, this application sent a powerful and bad message to our children and young people. Making women mere sex objects is a step down the road that can lead to violence against women.

Complaining about this application isn't just "political correctness," it's wanting to live in a world where men and women are treated equally and with respect.

David Coursey tweets as @techinciter and can be contacted via his Web site.

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David Coursey

PC World (US online)
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