Dr. Pepper "Treasure Hunt" Banned by Boston

You really have to wonder how anyone could have thought this was a good idea: Dr. Pepper announced via a clue in one of their promotions that it had buried a coin worth as much as one million dollars in the 347-yea-old Granary Burying Ground, final resting place of no less than John Hancock, Paul Revere and Samuel Adams.

Contestants, ready to unearth the coin, showed up at the gates of the Burial Ground on Tuesday, only to find that the city had closed them, fearing the historic site would be damaged by the digging.

“It absolutely is disrespectful,” Boston Parks Commissioner Toni Pollak told the Boston Globe. “It’s an affront to the people who are buried there, our nation’s ancestors.”

Cadbury Schweppes, the inappropriately British company that owns Dr. Pepper, apologized after a coin worth $10,000 was recovered near a 200-year-old crypt.

“The coin should never have been placed in such a hallowed site, and we sincerely apologize,” Artkop [spokesperson] said in a statement. What was Dr. Pepper thinking telling people to dig up Paul Revere’s grave? —MEGHANN MARCO

Dr Pepper apologizes for placing coin near crypt [Boston Globe]

Dr Pepper promotion closes cemetery [Buffalo News]


Edit Your Comment

  1. homerjay says:

    Okay, who’s gonna be the first to make a fake bomb joke?

  2. This is how Britan exacts revenge on the revolutionaries?


  3. Pelagius says:

    Since Dr. Pepper has traditionally been a southern drink, I suspect it’s the Confederacy’s attempt to get back at those Yankee bluebloods. Just look where they put the winning million dollar coin

  4. Amsterdaam says:

    Huh… I’m dumbfounded…

  5. Citron says:

    Idiots. That is just stupid.

  6. Youthier says:

    Okay, Cartoon Network is psyched now.

  7. aka Cat says:

    Reminds me of some idiot djs in Fort Worth who decided that they’d promote literacy by announcing that they’d hidden money in library books.

    Oddly, instead of checking out books, reading them and waiting for money to fall out from between the pages, a hoard of radio listeners ransacked the library./sarcasm

  8. John Stracke says:

    Y’know, I really don’t get that worked up about cemeteries. A grave is not for the dead; it’s for the living to have someplace to go to help them remember the dead. Once there’s nobody left alive who remembers you, your grave serves no purpose.

    But that’s rationality; this is marketing. Anybody who wants to work in marketing should understand people well enough to realize that most people aren’t rational about graves.

    If I were CEO at Schweppes, the marketing people involved would be fired—not for “desecrating” graves, per se, but for failing to realize that it would get people angry.

  9. Hoss says:

    As a Bostonian, I’d advise any ad agency to lay low for a while. Except maybe the girls that give free shooters at our bars — feel free.

  10. xenth says:

    Wow what is with these marketing companies lately? One horrible idea after another.

  11. karmaghost says:

    Now, let’s have an American company have a promotion where we dig up something in a historic British area and see what kind of backlash there is. Guess: much more.

  12. DutchFlat says:

    Marketing types are assholes. It’s that simiple. Wait until they start getting fired and sued; that’ll stop them.

    We had some immature, smarmy little pricks on the radio here in Sacramento manage to kill a woman with one of their bullshit, adolescent stunts (“Who can drink the most wlater.” Gee how clever).

    Well, they’re all fired now, and getting sued. But, the sixty-four dollar question: What asshole listens to stuff like this on the radio?

  13. hop says:

    i’ll let them bury it in my backyard………………..

  14. Tango says:

    I like the idea (Find the hidden shiny thing), although I have to agree that the execution was rather poor.

    People don’t read marketing material (or any material, actually) these days, so agencies have to pull stunts that are controversial enough to get people talking, but not so controversial that the brand is damaged. If the public responded to rational marketing, that’s what the agencies would produce. Good marketers don’t care *why* something works, only *if* it does, and if they can repeat it.

  15. kevjohn says:

    Dammit! I was all set to start ragging on the Boston authorities again for being out-of-touch morons, but this really is a horrible, horrible idea. “Let’s have money-hungry people come dig up a graveyard looking for buried treasure we plant there. What could possibly go wrong with that?”

  16. redline13 says:

    I work nearby this cemetery and I will take a stroll through it on occasion. Many of the gravestones don’t look to sturdy and I have to think that someone would have broke something if a mass of people were looking for a hidden coin. By the way if you ever find yourself in Boston you should check this place out. Beyond those already mentioned it contains the final resting spots of Ben Franklin’s parents and some of those killed in the Boston massacre.

  17. TechnoDestructo says:

    “Fake bomb joke?” Only a Boston paranoia apologist would couch it in therms like that.

  18. etinterrapax says:

    This pisses me off. That’s one of my favorite spots in Boston, somewhere I always visit when I’m downtown, always take out-of-towners who haven’t been here before. Smarmy though it is, it’s one of the few places that makes me think with a certain idealism about our country and the people who worked to establish it. And I just plain like old cemeteries and history and tranquil places in the city. Digging there is completely, utterly inappropriate, and I’m glad the city got wind of this idiotic caper in time to save a national landmark from that kind of abuse.

  19. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Yeah, great idea..burying a valuable coin in a cemetery. Dr. Pepper, your ad guys are morons.

  20. Jesse in Japan says:

    Wait, so the coin was only worth 10,000 dollars?