Heinz ketchup is the latest contestant on Stupid Brand Tricks, which highlights the ways brands routinely embarrass themselves with their marketing.

Last week, the ketchup maker was called out by a German customer for a QR code that links to a porn site. Apparently the QR code was from a campaign that gave German customers the opportunity to design a label for the ketchup bottle. The promotion concluded and Heinz did not renew the campaign domain name, so naturally a porn company scooped it up.

As Grub Street put it, “it’s unclear which is worse: having a porn site assume the old web address, or it taking months before somebody actually scanned the code and made the discovery.” Also, it makes you wonder how old the ketchup was, doesn’t it?

Heinz, of course, apologized and even offered the customer the chance to design a label. The porn company responded by giving the guy a free membership to its website, so at least there’s a chance that this story has a happy ending.


This post also appears on Word of Mouse.

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