Late last year, Pepsi began a promotion called "Summer Rewind". It offered free retro Pepsi t-shirts in a number of varieties - all you had to do was collect specially marked labels. Some were worth 1 point, some 2, depending on the size of the bottle, and you needed 10 to get a shirt. The best part was free delivery - you simply entered your codes into the website, clicked on the style you wanted, then sat back and wait for awesome commercialised vintage fashion to hit your letterbox.
Pepsi Max is our beverage of choice here at Chez Clumsy, so we made sure to buy specially marked bottles when we could, and I began collecting the labels.
It didn't take long to accumulate points, and through December, January and early February, Pepsi retro t-shirts began turning up regularly at Chez Clumsy. Pretty decent shirts too; nice cotton, with good quality screen-printing. I even "girlied" up a few - slicing off necklines and roughly cropping sleeves to make them more "stylish" (if you accept that unhemmed and uneven edges can be stylish).
At some point, the shirts ran out, but Pepsi obviously realised they were onto a popular promotion. People were happy to walk around advertising their product - as long as the garment doing the work was kind of trendy and old skool. So they restocked, and my efforts continued.
|I *may* have gotten a little excited.|
But then, a couple of weeks ago, I received a large envelope from Pepsi DEMANDING my labels and proof of purchase receipts. Turns out I'd ordered enough shirts to be seen as suspicious - or at least just a tad on the greedy side. They didn't accuse me of anything directly - but the meaning was clear: "You've had your share - now come up with the proof you really did buy all that carbonated cola or we'll think you're running a dodgy eBay resale scam."
But what I don't understand is how you're expected to follow their "rules" - which involve keeping all the labels AND your proof of purchase receipts. I do in fact have a bunch of the labels all rubber-banded together in a small box. But receipts? Ha! OK, I probably could've held on to supermarket dockets, but you tell me what little cafe or newsagent or foodcourt kebab shop gives you a receipt for your 600ml bottle?
So the fine print fascists at Pepsi are now holding my shirts, and as I'm unlikely to be able to send them receipts (OK, I've lost the reply paid envelope they sent me), will redistribute them to other, more conscientious consumers.
I mean, really. What has the world come to when a girl can't collect a Smorg-like amount of t-shirt treasure just so she can cut them up willy-nilly? I mean, didn't someone fight a war about something at some point?
If it wasn't for the fact I'm addicted to Pepsi Max, I'd seriously consider boycotting it.