Seems that Korell grabbed his bottle and noticed a promotional QR code that he scanned in the hopes of being directed to a promotional website for Heinz. Problem is, that domain name was no longer connected to Heinz and had been snatched up by a German adult film website.
Korell wrote to the company on Facebook, saying that their product was “probably not for minors.” According to his post, he tried the code on several different phones and even wrote in the website’s URL manually — all to the same result.
Heinz apologized for the code in the comments, but noted that Korell’s bottle was a “remnant” of a previous campaign. Apparently, Heinz discontinued their ownership of the web address after that particular campaign ended in 2014.
Not buying a new bottle of ketchup in over two years aside, it seems odd that Heinz wouldn’t renew the lease on its own promotional domain. Then again, that’s exactly the type of mistake that does happen at large companies. Things slip between the cracks. Or the fries. You get it.
Heinz did smarten up enough to try and make right with Korell, and seems like it might try to avoid this type of issue in the future.
Heinz offered Korell a much more SFW designed bottle for free and, perhaps sarcastically, told him that the company would “gladly take up [Korell’s] suggestions for the implementation of future campaigns.”