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21 May, 2020 11:52

‘Dystopian hell world’: Walmart & Pepsi blasted for ‘Covid-19 testing site’ promotional banner

‘Dystopian hell world’: Walmart & Pepsi blasted for ‘Covid-19 testing site’ promotional banner

Pepsi and Walmart are taking heat online over a banner which was hung outside one of the retail chain's stores cheerily advertising a Covid-19 testing site along with the beverage giant’s latest slogan.

“Covid-19 testing site – near Walmart #908,” the banner reads, alongside an image of a refreshing glass of ice-cold Pepsi. The company's slogan “That's what I like,” appears underneath – rather ominously, considering the circumstances.

Unsurprisingly, the Walmart-Pepsi-Covid mashup ruffled some feathers on social media, with many feeling that the association was rather…tasteless.

“Think about getting Pepsi at Walmart as you gasp for your last painful breath,” one person said. “When you think of people dying of COVID, think Pepsi!” added another. 

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“Honestly amazed that any company wants their name put on an ad with a deadly virus next to it,” another bemused Twitter user wrote.

Some suggested, however, that Pepsi might not even be aware of how the sign was used, given that corporations often send stores like Walmart premade banners to use as needed for various events.

Another person argued things were only going to get worse when brands start fighting over who gets to sponsor the first vaccine: “Covid Vaccine. Brought to you by Disney…”

Not everyone hated the idea, though. “I mean.... at least it's there to begin with,” one wrote, adding that “what matters is that people can get tested.”

“Testing is testing,” said another.

It turned out that the company was indeed aware of the signage, however, but later apologized for the insensitivity, Business Insider reported.

A statement from the company said the incident was an "unfortunate mistake" by a local sales associate who was "trying to move with speed" to get the message about testing out and who "did not follow proper approval protocols."

It's not the first time a major brand has been slammed for associating itself (knowingly or unknowingly) with the Covid-19 virus and attempting to reap some benefits. 

The Subway sandwich franchise apologized in March after one of its restaurants in Canada advertised free medical masks “to protect you and your kids” to customers who bought two subs.

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