heinz ketchup

Talk about a sticky situation.

Does anyone actually scan QR codes? They already seem like a relic of the very recent past. In another five years we’ll probably wonder whatever happened to those garbled-looking black-and-white patterns that used to be found on virtually any flat surface. It’s only fitting, then, that Heinz finds itself in the middle of a QR-code porn scandal.

Seeking more information about a long-discontinued promotion, Daniel Korell scanned the QR code on an old bottle of Heinz ketchup and was surprised to end up on a German porn site called Fundorado.

“Your ketchup is probably not for minors,” Korell noted on Heinz’s Facebook page, where he posted the photo above, adding a winking emoji. “Tested several phones with QR code readers. Oh, for direct input of the URL you get the same result.”

It turned out that Heinz had let the domain name tied to its QR code expire after the related contest ended. Fundorado then acquired it and did its thing.

“The bottle may be a remnant,” Korell replied, “but it exists even in many households. For me it is incomprehensible that one didn’t ensure the domain for at least one or two years. A .de domain name really doesn’t cost the Earth. A small note on the past action and the thing is done. It is just plain embarrassing.”

Heinz then somewhat passive-aggressively replied that it would “gladly take up” Korell’s “suggestions for the implementation of future campaigns” and said it would specially manufacture a ketchup bottle with any label design he might care to submit, free of charge.

Mr. Korell, if you’re reading this: your label should probably be pornographic, or at least bear a funny warning like “DO NOT USE AS LUBE.”

Because no porn site in history has passed up free publicity, Fundorado also showed up in the comment thread to make a lewd joke about squirting and offer Korell a year’s free subscription to their digital smut. Bless their filthy hearts.

Let’s see you complain now, Daniel.

H/T The Local | Photo via Mike Mozart/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Miles Klee

Miles Klee

Miles Klee is a novelist and web culture reporter. The former editor of the Daily Dot’s Unclick section, Klee’s essays, satire, and fiction have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, Vanity Fair, 3:AM, Salon, the Awl, the New York Observer, the Millions,  and the Village Voice. He's the author of two odd books of fiction, 'Ivyland' and 'True False.'

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