In response to PepsiCo’s recent disregard for the dignity of women, as evidenced by their sexist marketing techniques, I would like to see the removal of Pepsi products from our campus.
PepsiCo recently came out with a new iPhone application to market their Amp Energy drink. The application is titled “Amp Up Before You Score.” What’s its purpose? To allow application users to select from 24 different stereotypes of women depending on the user’s mood, then provide tips and tricks on how to “score” (because apparently, women are more akin to flavors of ice cream than actual people).
As if Pepsi thought that wasn’t quite demeaning enough, not only do the types include “Married”, but the caption below “Sorority Girl” says “This shouldn’t be a problem.”
And then we have the proverbial cherry on top: the application actually encourages users to “keep a list” of their conquests, and brag about them. Take a look at this excerpt from the application information on iTunes.
Here’s how it works:
1. Identify Her Type
Got your eye on a girl, and aren’t sure how to get started? Pick out her profile, flip the card, and study up quick with a cheatsheet on the stuff she’s into, with lists, links and some surefire opening lines. (Surefire to what, we won’t say.)
2. Keep a list
Get lucky? Add her to your Brag List. You can include a name, date and whatever details you remember.
You got it? Flaunt it. Keep your buddies in the loop on email, Facebook or Twitter.
In response to criticism of the application, PepsiCo offered this “apology” via Twitter, “Our app tried 2 show the humorous lengths guys go 2 pick up women. We apologize if it’s in bad taste & appreciate your feedback. #pepsifail.”
I, for one, do not find misogyny humorous. Nor do I find it compatible with our University Mission, Vision, and Convictions Statement, which with respect to dignity it states “We respect the dignity of each person and value the unique contributions that each brings to the greater mosaic of the university community.” With respect to diversity it states “We strive to create a vibrant diverse community in which, together, we work for a more just and inclusive society.”
As a university, the way in which we conduct business should be a reflection of our values. Who we choose to do business with says something about our ethical standards. Continuing to do business with PepsiCo is tantamount to an endorsement of their company and consequently their marketing methods. I hope the University of St. Thomas can do better than that. Please remove Pepsi products from our campus.