UPDATED at 3:15 p.m.
PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – There’s a war happening online, and Dr Pepper is losing.
Wednesday, we reported that the Plano company is buying the bottling operations of Dr Pepper Bottling Company of Dublin, which was the company’s oldest still-operating bottler.
The move puts an end to Dublin Dr Pepper, a cane sugar version of the soda that the small bottler produced for a century. Sugar-sweetened Dr Pepper will still be sold, but the Dublin bottler won’t produce it and it won’t carry the Dublin name.
Now consumers are telling Dr Pepper Snapple Group exactly what they think of the deal.
It’s not pretty.
Hundreds and maybe thousands of people are attacking the company on Facebook and Twitter.
Here’s a screenshot from the company’s Facebook page, taken shortly after noon Thursday (click picture for full-size version):
Many commenters are accusing the company of deleting negative Facebook posts on its page.
And someone created an “Occupy Dr Pepper” Facebook page in support of the Dublin bottler.
noon 3:15 p.m. Thursday, the company had not responded to the negative posts, either on Facebook or Twitter.
The company’s stock price was down .71% at 12:27 p.m.
We contacted Dr Pepper Snapple Group for a comment about the backlash
but they have not yet responded.
UPDATE: The company responded with an email shortly before 2 p.m, but they did not address the backlash. Here is their entire statement, from spokesman Greg Artkop:
We will continue to produce and sell Dr Pepper with cane sugar, as we have for years.
The Dublin bottler contracted with a bottler in Temple to manufacture Dr Pepper with cane sugar. Temple in fact produced virtually all of the bottled product sold by Dublin, as well as the cane sugar product that DPS sells in DFW, Houston and Waco.
So when a Dr Pepper fan finds Dr Pepper with cane sugar at a local store, it will be the same product they’ve always purchased. It will still be bottled and canned in distinct, nostalgic packaging. The only difference is it will not reference Dublin on the label.
We asked Artkop for an on-camera interview, but he declined. However, he did talk on-air to KRLD’s Emily Trube — but here again, he didn’t address the intense online backlash. Listen to the interview:
What do you think? Leave a comment below!
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