The PR people behind Pepsi in Sweden scored a massive own goal on Tuesday night.
In the run-up to Portugal’s triumph in Stockholm, Pepsi in Scandinavia launched a negative campaign against Cristiano Ronaldo in which the Seleccao superstar was depicted as a voodoo doll in a series of soon-to-be-dead images.
The Pepsi campaign include pictures of voodoo doll Ronaldo tied onto train tracks, suffocated by a crushed can over his head, and a picture of the doll covered from head to toe with needles.
What may have seemed like a light-hearted promotional campaign to begin with quickly backfired on Pepsi, as Portugal fans retaliated by setting up an anti-Pepsi group on Facebook.
Within 24 hours the new Facebook group has already received over 25,000 likes, and all those people have signed up to the pledge that Pepsi should now by boycotted in the Iberian state.
Pepsi have since issued an apology, saying:
We would never want to put the sport or the spirit of competition in a negative light. We regret if people were offended by the posts; they were immediately taken down. We would like to extend our apologies to all concerned.
That apology, however, is likely to fall on deaf ears as Portuguese photoshoppers go about creating their own images to counter-balance the original anti-Ronaldo campaign.
A series of the Portuguese photoshoppers pictures can be seen below.