According to the Dallas Business Journal, soft drink manufacturer Dr Pepper Snapple Group has responded to over what GUNS N' ROSES is calling "a complete fiasco" of a publicity stunt. The soft drink manufacturer promised everyone in the U.S. a free can of soda if the new GUNS album, "Chinese Democracy", came out before the end of 2008, and on the day of the record's November 23 release, made a coupon available at the Dr Pepper web site for the free drink.

During the first stretch of the campaign, free-Dr Pepper-seekers flooded the web site, which caused the site to crash, making it difficult for others to sign on.

Dr Pepper extended the campaign to accommodate beverage seekers who experienced the site crash.

In a statement Tuesday, Plano-based Dr Pepper Snapple Group said, "We are disappointed that GN'R's lawyers are turning a fun giveaway into a legal dispute. We simply commented on the delayed release of 'Chinese Democracy' and openly encouraged the band to release it before the end of the year. Axl even expressed support for our efforts earlier in the year."

The company added that the management team for GUNS N' ROSES approached them before the campaign launch and Dr Pepper Snapple Group openly shared their promotional plans with the team.

Dr Pepper Snapple Group added that it has already taken steps to compensate fans who tried to enter the web site during the initial leg of the promotion. The company says it extended the deadline from 24 hours to 42 hours, added a toll-free hotline for customers who experienced difficulties logging on and activated a voice recorder that is interactive and able to record promotional coupon requests. The company also said a week after the campaign, Dr Pepper Snapple continued offering coupons to anyone who experienced problems during the initial launch.

"This was one of the largest responses we have ever received for a giveaway, and we're happy we were able to satisfy the thirst of so many Dr Pepper fans," Dr Pepper Snapple Group said. "We wish GUNS N' ROSES the best with their album."


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