This one has to rank with the "mystery cougher" that BL Ochman loves to hate…

You all know about the disgusting PR idea that Ricola cough drops has resurrected? The “mystery cougher” who goes around in public coughing on people randomly, and if you give him a Ricola cough drop you could win a prize?

Well, is right up there with Ricola in the Annals of PR Ideas That Weren’t Fully Thought Through. The PR firm that billed Partida Tequila what must have been hundreds of thousands for a glitzy website and high production videos came up with the idea of conducting person-on-the-street interviews in which people confess to things they did when they were drinking tequila. Sounds like, as the agency put it, “a fun way” to get people to learn about the benefits of the product.

There’s one problem with this. The centerpiece of the website, the signature video clip, is an interview in which a young man confesses that while getting drunk on tequila in Chicago, he apparently had a one night stand that produced a pregnancy, and he now has a child in Chicago.

Very funny stuff, right?

Sure, unless you’re this irresponsible idiot’s kid, or one of the kid’s friends, and recognize his “Say, Jane, you are a good sport” dad.

People, the Internet is forever. You can’t unring this bell and eventually you will hear from lawyers for people whose social and professional lives are irreparably damaged by this cavalier attitude toward personal behavior.

If you hate it when your mom drags out your baby pictures, imagine how you will feel when your boss calls up your Tequila Confession and asks you for more receipts to justify those expense account entries…

I just hope the PR firm that cooked up this brain bullet (apologies to Lucy Kellaway and Martin Lukes at the FT) also baked some legal fees and a crisis PR plan into their budget. They are going to need both.


  1. Dear George, Good afternoon. My name is Benjamin and I am the Account Executive on Partida’s ‘Experience the True Spirit of Tequila’ / Tequila Confessions campaign. The point of this initiative is to demonstrate the ‘true spirit of Tequila’ and educate people about what premium Tequila is suppose to be. People have a misconception of Tequila as being a cheap, low quality spirit which is downed in shots by college kids. While there are plenty of cheap Tequilas, there are also many premium Tequilas which should be savored like fine wines, Cognacs or Single Malt Scotches. We are trying to correct this stereotype in a fun and interesting manner and demonstrate that Tequila is a premium spirit. Tequila is something that all spirit lovers can enjoy and at the same time honor the heritage of a very proud and vibrant culture. This is the purpose of the Partida Tequila campaign and TequilaConfessions.

  2. I’ve never gotten a Dear George letter before, but I appreciate Benjamin taking the time to comment.I guess I must be getting old but I’m not quite sure how having someone admit to fathering a child during a one-night stand under the influence of tequila helps demonstrate the true spirit of tequila, or how it helps their client position the beverage as a premium brand to be savored. If that’s the goal, why not do street videos of people enjoying this upscale drink in upscale, exciting settings, instead of telling about the embarrassing things they did when they drank it.I may be missing something, but I don’t see how this helps position the client’s tequila as elegant or premium. Or am I being too literal?What do you think? Please comment. Just because my name is on the door to the blog doesn’t mean I’m right all the time…or even most…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.