Rage Against Raging Cow

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 12:24 AM

It seems the folks at Dr. Pepper, the people that thought up the idea of taking the words “under God” out of the Pledge of Allegiance on their cans (although sadly, e-mail rumors attack Pepsi for that instead), are at it again. This time, they are offering non-monetary payment to popular bloggers who promote the new Raging Cow flavored dairy drink without noting that they are being “paid” for doing so.

I Support The Raging Cow BoycottThis is just plain stupid and a case of “astroturfing” at its worst. As such, while I probably wouldn't be that interested in Raging Cow anyway, I am still happy to officially mark myself as a member of the bloggers against Raging Cow. Let's let Dr. Pepper know its wrong to attempt to create an artificial grassroots community, especially by buying off blogs, known to be, as Doc Searls noted, an escape from this kind of stuff.

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3 comments posted so far.

RE: Rage Against Raging Cow

I won’t stand with you on the pledge thing. If I remember right, it’s not that they published the entire pledge & just left 2 words out. It was only a small portion of the pledge to start with.  :)

I keep going back and forth on the raging cow, thing. First, it’s not like it’s some big moral issue. It’s a legitimate business tactic. While I don’t like it, I have to admit it’s not a bad idea on their part. Mostly, I’m afaid the just say no campaign isn’t really doing anything more than give Raging Cow more publicity than it would have had otherwise.

Posted by kevin - Mar 11, 2003 | 6:31 PM- Location:

RE: Rage Against Raging Cow

Hey Kevin — good points. :-) IIRC, I do think that the omission of “Under God” was intentional (i.e. for politically correct purposes), but I can’t remember Dr. Pepper’s exact response any more.

As far as Raging Cow, you are definately right about giving it more publicity than it should get. You are also right it is a legit business tactic, although astroturfing is somewhat dubious, IMO. Especially if the bloggers are suppose to intentionally avoid revealing that they are being paid, it seems to me that if a lot of companies did this, it could lower the usefulness of blogs, since you couldn’t discern opinion from paid opinion nearly as easily.

If I were Dr. Pepper, I think I’d encourage the people to note that they are receiving stuff from the company. Tell the bloggers to mention how nice Dr. Pepper has been to them and how great the free samples of Raging Cow are… but, I guess that might not be as great in marketing terms.

Posted by Tim - Mar 12, 2003 | 1:12 AM- Location: St. Louis, MO

RE: Rage Against Raging Cow

Interesting, I had only heard that it was Pepsi.. what happened to the Dr. Pepper… I ebt the only reason they shortned the total thing is so they didn’t have to put under God or take it out.. this way they can look ok… I wish they would have put it.. I would have even started drinking nasty Dr. Pepper.

Posted by Jake - Mar 12, 2003 | 4:58 PM- Location: Indiana

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