If you must. . .

So, on 1/8, I posted a blog about my thoughts on the Pepsi Refresh Challenge project. I stand behind every word of what I’ve written. (I’m sure those who monitor this blog might take offense, but quite frankly, I don’t care).  Here are some reasons why contests like Pepsi’s are bad:

1) They are technology dependent – this automatically favors individuals or organizations that are able to leverage technology through either the means of delivery through their organization OR because of socio-economic status.

3) Pepsi, or more specifically, it’s parent company Frito Lay, is using profits garnered from selling junk (hey, I like the junk, but it is JUNK to our bodies) to “do good” in various communities. Frito Lay made 845 million (USD) for the quarter ending 7/10.  The amount of money they are giving away per month pales in comparison to the long-term costs to the wider community and in proportion to the quarterly profits.

3) Forcing organizations into “popularity” contests benefits nobody. Allegations of magical cheating, IP re-routing, and on and on and on.  While conceptually, it is a good idea to allow people to select which ideas should be awarded grants, if Pepsi is committed to using some of its substantial profits to make a difference, the programs should be evaluated by professional grant management/event planning firms (there are plenty who specialize in work with non-profits) in conjunction with a popular vote.

A lot of what Pepsi is doing is too dependent on a critical mass: a program in Bismark, ND stands less of a chance of winning than a similar program in St. Louis, MO just due to population and the ability to “vote by region”.

Pepsi might bring back there challenge. If they do, I hope that those who opt to participate act like adults, win and loose with grace and vote for causes *they* believe in – not that they are pressured to vote for because that is a voting alliance. Then again, I wish Pepsi would just get rid of the project and force organizations to write grants and donate money based on the proportion of their profits to region.  After all, that would *really* be giving back to the Pepsi community.

But what do I know? I’m a Diet Coke girl!


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