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Brown Sugar Water

“I am simply trying to take Pepsi up on an offer it made to the public,” insists Seattle, Wash., student John Leonard, 21, who planned to redeem 7 million “Pepsi Points” from the soft drink’s “Drink Pepsi, Get Stuff” promotional campaign for a Harrier fighter jet, as shown in a TV ad for the promotion. “Surprisingly,” a lawsuit Leonard filed states, Pepsi “failed and refused to provide the new Harrier jet to Leonard.” Pepsi says the fighter jet offer was a spoof — an “obvious farce” — and refuses to budge. It may not have to: a U.S. Department of Defense spokesman says “it will not be possible” for Pepsi to obtain a Harrier jet, whether it wants to give it away or not. He noted the jets cost the government $33.8 million each. Seven million Pepsi Points are worth about $700,000. (RC/AP) ...Pepsi has, already, changed the slogan in the commercial to “Drink Pepsi, Get Stiffed”.
Story Update: The lawsuit went to trial in 1999. But Judge Kimba Wood tossed the suit, leaving Leonard with nothing.
Original Publication Date: 11 August 1996
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 3.
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