Heinz apologizes for ketchup bottle QR code tied to porn site

Heinz said its ownership of the website attached to the QR code expired after the contest ended in 2014, allowing the porn site to take over.

By Ben Hooper
Heinz Ketchup bottles on a supermarket shelf. File Photo by Gary C. Caskey/UPI
Heinz Ketchup bottles on a supermarket shelf. File Photo by Gary C. Caskey/UPI | License Photo

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BERLIN, June 17 (UPI) -- A German man who tested out the QR code on a bottle of Heinz ketchup offering a defunct promotion says the code now leads to a porn site.

Daniel Korell wrote to the ketchup firm on Facebook, saying the Heinz Hot Ketchup "is probably not for minors" after he scanned the QR code on his bottle expecting to be taken to a label design contest website and was instead taken to a porn site.


Korell wrote he tried the code with "several phones" and tried manually entering the web address, but he received the same result each time.

Heinz apologized to Korell, saying the company's ownership of the website expired after the 2012-2014 contest came to a close.

"Even if the bottle was a leftover, it's still in lots of households," Korell said in a comment. "It's incomprehensible that you didn't reserve the domain for one or two years. A .de domain name really doesn't cost the Earth."

The ketchup company offered Korell a custom-designed bottle free of charge by way of compensation and said it would gladly accept "suggestions for the implementation of future campaigns."


German news site Bild said Korell was also offered a free membership by the porn site that took over the domain.

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