Heinz has apologized after a ketchup bottle QR code accidentally took one German man to an adult website, but instead of reveling in bad press, the racy site itself decided to take advantage of the new attention.
The mishap drew international attention this week when a German customer named Daniel Korrell scanned a QR code on a Heinz ketchup bottle for a contest and was instead directed to a site where women perform live adult shows for viewers.
Korrell seemed a bit miffed and posted photos of the accident on Facebook.
“Hello Heinz-team, the bottle may be a remnant, but it exists even in many households,” he wrote (translated from German). “For me it is incomprehensible that one which ensures at least the domain for 1-2 years.”
The post went viral, prompting Heinz to apologize for the ketchup bottle mishap.
“Heinz in Germany has apologized for the way in which an out-of-date QR code and website link to design a ketchup label in 2014 has been reassigned to an adult content web site,” said Michael Mullen, senior vice president of Corporate & Government Affairs at Heinz, in an email to CNN Money.
“Clearly this was never our intention and we are taking steps to avoid this from re-occurring,” Mullen added.
But the site, FunDorado, sensed an opportunity. Not long after Heinz apologized, the site made its own post offering Daniel Korrell a full year’s subscription for free.
The site noted (in a rough translation from German).
“We give you a year at FunDorado free of charge! Just send us a private message. Purple greetings, your FunDorado team”
Korrell didn’t want to take the company up on the offer, and instead had a different idea for the money.
“Thank you for the offer, but there is no need,” he wrote. “I would be glad if you would instead donate the equivalent to a non-profit organization.”
FunDorado appears to be following in the trend of adult websites with clever marketing teams. The site Pornhub is one of the best at drawing attention to its clever campaigns, including a contest last year seeking a safe-for-work advertisement. The winner ended up being a pair of hands making a heart in front of the company’s logo with the tagline, “All you need is hand.”
While FunDorado is taking advantage of its new-found attention, Heinz is sticking by its apology for the ketchup bottle mishap.
[Image via Getty Images/Scott Olson]