Charmaine Yoest has carefully followed Major E.’s boycott of Pepsi products pending a response to his inquiry regarding Indra Yooyi’s Columbia Business School commencement speech. Over at Reasoned Audacity, Yoest has posted a powerful memo to Coca-Cola chief executive officer Neville Isdell. Here’s the conclusion of Yoest’s memo:
Time to get in gear. Major E. is thirsty. Send him some Powerade and make it snappy!
Here’s the free advice. Get your marketing team working overnight to come up with a “Camp Victory” campaign. Redesign the Powerade labeling in a special collector’s edition camouflage version. Load the crates up on the plane and get them to Baghdad on the double.
And Mr. Isdell, if I were you, I’d hand the first one out of the crate to Major E. personally.
Get to work guys, it’s hot over there.
Yoest addresses her final word to “you Photoshop hotshots — what would a Powerade in cammy look like? I’d love to see it!”
UPDATE: First in is the Waco Kid of Penguin Proletariat with the offering above. In the meantime, reader Steve Robbins has sent us a copy of his message to Charmaine Yoest, alluding to Robbins’s earlier message to PepsiCo on the same subject:
Thank you for your energetic and positive response on your website to Major E’s request for an answer to his simple question, having picked up the link via Powerline’s uptake this morning. Much earlier this AM, I also read Scott Johnson’s recap in The Daily Standard of Indra’s blurt at Columbia, and the ensuing focus on the simple inquiry of Major E. I felt inspired to finally fire off my own direct response to my new best friend, “PepsiCo,” arising out of a brief exchange I had with them that ended in my frustration a few weeks back [omitted here].
If this incident, followed by your modest proposal should ignite a new Cola war, then we must all be concerned for the safety and well-being of the industry reps who will quickly travel to Iraq. They cannot, of course, get in the way of the primary mission. But, since the President of the United States, the First Lady, the Secretaries of Defense and State (2), and a few Undersecretaries, have all done so without incident, it would seem that our troops are more than up to that job.
So, as a counterstroke, I would suggest to my friend PepsiCo that the company will need to respond quickly, and it will have to go well beyond a few cases of soda! Personally, I would recommend a visit to the war zone by PepsiCo President and Chief Financial Officer, Indra Nooyi. As a first measure of contrition, she could deliver a plaque to him, bearing Major E’s question, and the official answer of the Board, with all appropriate signatures affixed.
Secondly, I believe she and PepsiCo should simultaneously announce the establishment of some form of philanthropic effort on behalf of those brave individuals who have been serving in this war on terror. An educational fund for the children of those soldiers would be one logical possibility, as Indra made her admittedly intemperate remarks at Columbia University. But I am sure there are many other ideas PepsiCo could initiate, so long as they drop this obnoxious “touchy-feely” e-mail response strategy. We all thirst for more than a few clicks of a some PR associate’s keyboard!
And given the fact that PepsiCo is a multi-national corporation, they would no doubt want to take into consideration a gesture of recognition that recognizes the efforts and needs of the soldiers from all nations serving in the coalition.
Perhaps some real good will come of this!
We can dream, can’t we?