Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Pepsi Challenge

Hugh Hewitt has links to various articles and blog posts regarding the commencement address at Columbia Business School by Indra Nooyi, President of PepsiCo.

From One hand Clapping:

Basically, Ms. Nooyi said that America is the big finger of the world’s hand, and, said she, “You know what I’m talking about. In fact, I suspect you’re hoping that I’ll demonstrate what I mean.”

Charming. And Charmaine Yoest has this:

PepsiCo is trying valiantly to emphasize the "misconstrued" line. That word come up several times when I talked with them this morning. Terri Maini, a Consumer Relations Supervisor, told me, "I really think it was misconstrued." In response to my follow-up questions, Donna Leskowski, Manager for Public Affairs, said much the same thing.

Misconstrued? What is the proper understanding of "Now as never before, it's important we give the world a hand -- not the finger."?? Please, PepsiCo instruct me on the correct construal of this statement?

In the old days (I mean about five years ago) this is one of those cheap applause lines meant for the Ivy League, graduate school elite audience it was directed to. But how dense can this woman be? Has she not grasped the speed and access of the internet, the blogosphere and talk radio yet? Forget about how offensive this line is to Americans, she should be pink slipped for being so out of touch with the age we are in.

So... as Blogfather Hugh points out: "What to do if you are at Pepsi?"

That really is the Pepsi Challenge, isn't it. I'd start by killing this "misconstrual" line. It's never good to explain an obviously ignorant and offensive remark by blaming the audience for not hearing it correctly.


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