Energy drinks are meant to be edgy and cool, and drunk by young men. So PepsiCo Inc. decided to release an Apple iPhone application for its Amp Energy drink to appeal to guys out on the prowl.
Now the snack and beverage giant is facing a storm of criticism for "Amp Up Before You Score."
The app, released last Friday, purports to help men pick up any one of 24 types of women, such as the "sorority girl," "cougar," "rebound girl" or "punk rock girl." Users can choose the type of woman they have their eye on, then get coached on facts that might be useful, such as computing a carbon footprint to impress "the treehugger."
Suggested pick-up lines can be risqué. To pick up "the artist," the app recommends the following line: "You know the Mona Lisa has no eyebrows. I wonder what else she shaves."
The app then takes the coaching a step further, encouraging users who "score" to post details such as name, date and comments, for their pals via Facebook and Twitter.
Hundreds of people have criticized the app via Twitter, saying it contributes to the objectification of women. Adfreak.com, a sister site of trade publication AdWeek, asks, "Does anyone not dislike Amp's iPhone app?"
PepsiCo apologized in a Twitter feed, saying, "Our app tried 2 show the humorous lengths guys go 2 pick up women. We apologize if it's in bad taste & appreciate your feedback."