Entrants to an online contest promoting a new Malibu Rum flavor are angry over the premature release of the winning video.
Pernod Ricard USA ran the contest on YouTube to promote Malibu Tropical Banana.
The promotion, How Do You Banana Malibu, encouraged those of legal drinking age to submit video interpretations of the classic song, “Banana Boat,” better known as “Day-O” at YouTube.com/MalibuBanana through June 13.
Some contestants used YouTube message boards to report their unhappiness and called the contest “rigged,” before it was taken down, the New York Times reported yesterday.
The winner was identified Monday according to rules agreed upon and stated by YouTube, but which were different from the date outlined in Pernod Ricard’s official rules of “on or about June 30,” Pernod Ricard spokesperson Jack Shay said.
“We honored the YouTube agreement,” he said.
Of the 270 entries, 84 qualified to be posted on YouTube. The winner, 25-years-old from the U.S., received either the deeds to a tropical banana grove or $25,000 in cash. (Promo Xtra, May 18, 2007).
“We regret that anyone was upset,” Shay said. “But we were gratified by the overall response to the program. We think that was a success and that people were passionate about the contest and Malibu Tropical Banana Rum and that’s what we were looking to achieve.”
Pernod Ricard was in the process yesterday of contacting all the finalists, whose videos will be also posted at the YouTube site.
Tropical Banana is the fourth flavor in the Pernod Ricard’s Malibu rum line.