PepsiCo: We Didn’t Sponsor Giffords’ Gabfest. Specifically.

Pepsi logo

Dear Mr. Farago,

Thank you for sharing your concern stemming from our participation in last summer’s Aspen Ideas Festival.

For background, each sponsor of the Festival is offered the chance to underwrite one evening as a part of overall sponsorship benefits. The evening that PepsiCo put our name on was an event in which journalist Andrea Mitchell interviewed Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly about their lives since Ms. Gifford’s shooting. Other than to have our logo and name attached to that particular evening session, we have no relationship to Ms. Giffords or to her organization, Americans for Responsible Solutions.

I can further share that PepsiCo has never supported groups that either advocate gun control or oppose hunting.

I hope this information is helpful. Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.


Michael Madden
Consumer Relations


About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

86 Responses to PepsiCo: We Didn’t Sponsor Giffords’ Gabfest. Specifically.

  1. avatarMicah in Texas says:

    Ok guess I can drink pepsi again, Cool.

    • avatarStilicho says:

      Dear Pepsi,

      I will not be boycotting any of your products specifically, rather I will simply not be consuming any Pepsi/Frito Lay products. Indeed, I have never boycotted any Pepsi products.

      Put another way, don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining.

  2. avatarcrzapy says:

    Thank GOD, I couldn’t live without Mt Dew.

    • avatarFermiman says:

      PepsiCo is all they have on campus in the vending machines. Due to my lack of a memory to grab a bottle of something I had been thirsty this week,

  3. avatarBTinAfghan says:

    agreed, even living in GA I prefer pepsi/mt dew.

  4. avatarWilliam Burke says:

    Andrea Mitchell. How nice.

  5. avatarDaniel Silverman says:

    Uhm so what is the Aspen Ideas festival?
    Lot’s on green energy, women’s rights, Pot legalization, etc…
    Yeah ok… I guess you sponsored something I really don’t care about, and well slapping your name onto Gabby’s gab fest doesn’t help you.
    And honestly I prefer Coke over Pepsi anyways.

    • avatarAvid Reader says:

      I gave up both of them some years ago. Decided I didn’t need the sugar in the regular ones, and don’t like the taste of the diet versions.

      • avatarMichael in GA says:

        I had to do some soul searching once my metabolism changed and I could not eat and drink anything I wanted without consequences. I had to give up soda or beer.
        In the war over Coke vs. Pepsi…Sweetwater IPA wins.

    • avatarGyufygy says:

      It’s an excuse to hang out in an American Davos, drink, and shoot the breeze.

    • avatarropingdown says:

      I’m surprised they didn’t sponsor the pot legalization night. It promises nothing but increased brand sales. Munchitos and a Pepsi.

    • avatarCliff H says:

      Still, I do like the occasional Dorito and some Taco Bell. It’s nice to know I don’t have to read all the fine print on every package to see who the parent company is.

  6. avatarDQ says:

    So they sponsor something that they have no idea of? That’s just redonkulous! I wonder if it would happen if organizations like Gun Save Lives appeared on one of their sponsored evenings.

  7. avatarTheSleeperHasAwakened says:

    “or oppose hunting.”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! What a political BS answer…the 2nd Amendment has nothing to do with hunting!

    • avatarTheSleeperHasAwakened says:

      Also please note in these posts that PepsiCo is the parent company of Pepsi, Frito-Lay, Gatorade, and Quaker.

      This is much bigger than soft drinks…it’s snack foods as well.

      Vote with your dollars my brothers and sisters. Vote with your dollars.

      • You go right ahead, I’m not about to stop buying PepsiCo products and neither should anyone else over this. One does not have to be a right wing-nut job to be a supporter of the RTKBA.

        • avatarJasonM says:

          However, one does have to support the RKBA to support the RKBA. Pepsi gave money so Andrea Mitchell and Mark Kelly could push their gun control agenda.

        • avatarjerry says:

          Yeah, lots of left-wing nutjobs support it I guess Huh? Just an observation, judging by your appearance you might want to lay off the pepsi products for awhile partner.

        • avatarropingdown says:

          That’s “right-wing nut-job.” I think the phrase may run afoul of the recently reiterated “be nice” policy. Perhaps not. Does this mean “left-wing libtard” is back in the ‘acceptable’ category?

        • avatarrlc2 says:

          Thats “Vast Right Wing Conspiracy*”, Paul.

          If you prog-tards are going to stoop to blatantly
          tar with a brush anyone who disagrees with you
          with contemptuous code words,
          implying your moral superiority,
          you ought to at least get it right…
          and admit to whom you debase yourself in your subservience
          to the shallow thinking and petty insults you so casually cast about.

          *Hillary Clinton
          (see how this works? Is this the clean well lit room?)

      • avatarJasonM says:

        And I believe they own several fast food chains including the Kentucky Fried Taco Hut.
        I can’t remember the last time I ate or drank any of their garbage. It’s pretty bad stuff.

        • avatarAvid Reader says:

          They sold off the fast food chains some years ago. KFC, Pizza Hut, Wing Street and Taco Bell are all owned by YUM brands now, which is publicly traded. Of course, they all sell Pepsi products unless they have a special exemption.

      • avatarSteveInCO says:

        Uh, so what? They ALSO said they were not in support of gun control. In fact, their letter doesn’t even contain the words “second amendment” so how can you tell they think it’s about hunting?

        • avatarropingdown says:

          I liked their eschewal of gun control support, and their non-opposition to hunting is not a trivial statement.

    • avatarXanthro says:

      In the defense of Pepsi, they said “either advocate gun control or oppose hunting.” as you state, the Second Amendment isn’t about hunting.

      By stating the don’t support gun control, or oppose hunting, doesn’t mean that hunting this part of the Second Amendment. An entity could be 100% RKBA and oppose hunting, since as you state, the latter is not part of the Second Amendment.

    • avatarMatt in Maine says:

      I think this proves they were completely oblivious. But definitely a head scratcher.

    • avatarPatriot says:

      “I can further share that PepsiCo has never supported groups that either advocate gun control or oppose hunting.”

      That was the very first thing I noticed.

      We don’t support gun-control but…

  8. avatarsilverwarloc says:

    Andrea Mitchell: The most unbiased journalist at NBC–evah.


  9. avatarformer water walker says:

    Fair enough. Guess I can have those Doritos. My wife has a very successful diy home & garden blog. She has a myriad number of legitimate & BS offers to sponser this & that. PepsiCo needs a little due diligence. Boycotts can get expensive.

  10. avatarRalph says:

    It was all a coincidence! Of course. Just like the links between Pepsi’s poisonous products and heart attack, stroke, cancer, diabetes and premature stupidity.

  11. avatarTom in Oregon says:

    Hey, at least they responded to the inquiry.
    In a somewhat positive manner too.

  12. avatarPNG says:

    I don’t drink any Pepsi sodas–they’re garbage–but at least I can eat my oats and cool off with a Gatorade after a hard run in peace!

  13. avatarTyler says:

    Thank goodness. I love Mountain Dew.

  14. avatartdiinva says:

    I still will go with the Real Thing.

  15. avatarMatt in FL says:

    I didn’t actually read either of the first two posts on this issue, and having just read through them both in the last 10 minutes prior to reading this one, I’m really disappointed I missed the opportunity to boycott Pepsi for all of 4-5 days. You guys got to ride the roller coaster without me.

    I’m not really disappointed. This is why I don’t knee-jerk.

    • avatarHannibal says:

      You don’t what now?

      • avatarMatt in FL says:

        Knee-jerk. Flip out over very thin information. Go back to the original post and count how many people screamed “BOYCOTT!” and said some variation on “Pepsi is dead to me.” I’m betting some of them didn’t even finish reading the actual post before they rushed to the bottom to declare their indignation.

        My point is just that I’m fairly slow to anger, and even slower to overreact in a situation like that. Take a deep breath. Maybe make yourself a drink. Maybe make yourself a week’s worth of drinks. Make sure you have all the information (or at least most of it) before you make your decision.

        I mean, not that I would have boycotted Pepsi anyway. If you took away my Pepsi, I’d shrivel up into a withered husk and blow away.

  16. avatarRonaldo Ignacio says:

    Piers Morgan is the featured Kindle single…
    I don’t want to boycott Amazon…

  17. avatarRuss Bixby says:

    If MAIG (MA all G) had a hootenanny at the Grand Canyon, I not later boycott the Grand Canyon.

    I’d sure pray for rain while they were there, though.

    • avatarjwm says:

      Big fracking earth quake. Fracking as in battlestar galactica cursing, not oil developing.

      • avatarSteveInCO says:

        BSG spelled it “frak” I am pretty sure. There was at least one shot of graffiti (“FRAK EARTH”) with the word in it.

        And the oil version, believe it or not, is properly spelled “frac’ing” since it comes from the word “fracture” which has no K in it.

  18. avatarThe Best Chris says:

    Looks like this attempt to create a new boogie man didn’t work out. Oh well. Maybe next time.

  19. avatarAL says:

    I guess I’ll be buying Pepsi products exclusively.

  20. avatarPatriot says:

    “I can further share that PepsiCo has never supported groups that either advocate gun control or oppose hunting.”

    See what they did there, the 2A is only for hunting purposes don’t you see, so they took an anti-gun stand without really taking an anti-gun stand.

    • avatarropingdown says:

      Opposition to hunting is very much a part of the gun control spectrum. Why think otherwise?

    • avatarMatt in FL says:

      I think that you, and others who’ve said the same thing, are reading way too much into that statement, looking for something to be angry about.

    • avatarSteveInCO says:

      “….has never supported groups that either advocate gun control….”

      Excuse me but NOTHING in that last sentence indicates that they think the 2A is about duck hunting. The part I quoted makes it plain, *they don’t support gun control.* Why condemn them for ALSO mentioning hunting?

  21. avatarPatriot says:

    Pepsi sucks anyways, tastes like cough syrup.

  22. avatarMaineuh says:

    Well, that sucks. It’s enough to get irritated over, but not enough for a full on tantrum. I feel somehow cheated.

    • avatarStinkeye says:

      You obviously haven’t been a member of the internet gun community for very long.

      Anything is enough for a full-on tantrum. No perceived slight is too small to start screaming “BOYCOTT!” for a significant portion of this community.

    • avatarSteveInCO says:

      Yep. All you gotta do is mention “not supporting banning hunting” in the same sentence as “not supporting gun control” and you are automatically a dufus who thinks 2A is about hunting. /sarc

  23. avatarJames says:

    The Pepsi response strains credulity. Major corporate logos are generally not attached to this type of event unless the corporation has a pretty good idea of what the event is about. If senior officials from the NRA or GOA or the Tea Party were being interviewed at the Aspen Ideas Festival I have some doubt that Pepsi’s logo would have been present.

  24. avatarModel66 says:

    Whatever. Marijuana legalization, green energy, women’s rights… know what they say about birds of a feather.
    If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck………..

  25. avatarKarlan in ATX says:

    Just bought some of the throwback stuff, delicious!

  26. avatarLucas D. says:

    Eh, I’ve always been a Dr. Pepper/Mr. Pibb sort of guy, but I don’t see the point in getting worked up about this. PepsiCo is a business, and businesses try to plaster their logos wherever possible as a matter of course. If the dude said something like “We stand proudly with Ms. Giffords and her mission to reduce violence,” outrage would be perfectly justified, but I’m giving him the benefit of doubt and guessing that he’d [wisely] rather not get involved in the gun debate at all.

    If anyone really wants to throw a fit over the “hunting” part, though, go right ahead; it’s not my blood pressure you’ll be unnecessarily spiking.

  27. avatarDougR says:

    I call bullshit. This is the “nice” way of promoting gun control. Pepsi sucks.

  28. avatarGude Poast says:

    How quaint, PepsiCON uses the gun grabber lingo “hunting” as if thats the ONLY legitimate purpose of firearms. Read between the lines, people.

  29. avatarJim Scrummy says:

    Lots of corporate speak and double speak in that statement. Not a big deal for me, because I hardly use any Pepsico products (majority of their products are junk food, which I try to avoid), or do I advocate any boycott.

  30. avatarMitch says:

    So, Farago, you’re proud about being blatantly wrong and not doing any legwork to support your telling of the “truth”?

  31. avatarJR says:

    Here’s the email I sent:

    I recently read about your sponsorship of Aspen Ideas and your response to an inquiry about this. This response included the phrase “PepsiCo has never supported groups that either advocate gun control or oppose hunting.”

    Aspen Ideas specifically states their festivals will discuss gun control, and Ms. Giffords is a well known advocate of gun rights violations. Sponsorship of the evening in question amounts to sponsorship of gun control advocacy.

    I was wondering if you actively support gun rights organizations to counteract this. There are many organizations on the local, state and national levels that are “in the trenches” every day seeking to protect the natural and civil rights of Americans, including those rights pertaining the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

    Such organizations include (but are not limited to): (donations are specifically used to help citizens in “bad neighborhoods”) (1 Million Moms Against Gun Control)

    There are many others.

    Pepsi has a wonderful opportunity to make the positive public relations statement that says “here’s a company that supports Civil Rights” while at the same time reaching one of the single largest demographics in the country: gun owners.


    Awaiting reply.

  32. avatarGS650G says:

    I promise to use pepsi cans for target practice but only if I find them lying around on the ground. I spend my money on Coke products.

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