Delta Apologizes for “Creepy” Diet Coke Napkins That Encourage Passengers to Flirt

Love is not in the air for Coca-Cola this Valentine’s Day after their matchmaking marketing campaign was pulled in response to backlash from Delta Airlines passengers. 

Delta distributed double sided cocktail napkins that urged travelers to jot down their personal information and give it to their in-flight crush, promoting romantic advances on planes.  

“Because you’re on a plane full of interesting people and hey… you never know,” the Diet Coke-branded napkin prompted on one side, a grey arrow in the bottom left corner indicating to flip it over.  “Be a little old school,” the encouraging message continued in a smaller font leaving blank spots for people to fill in, “Write down your number and give it to your plane crush. You never know…” 

The message did not help love take flight. Instead, it sparked controversy on Twitter over how the campaign should be perceived. Passengers were divided on whether or not to romanticize the message intended to create situations straight out of Hallmark movies or to condemn the campaign for excusing sexual harassment with nostalgia and serving as a medium to promote unwanted romantic advances. Some Twitter users deemed the campaign “creepy af” and others told the companies not to apologize for the “cute idea.”

Courtesy: Buzzfeed

 

“Pretty sure no one appreciated unsolicited phone numbers in the ‘good old days’ and they sure as heck don’t want the number of someone who has been gawking at them on a plane for hours today. Not a good look,” wrote one user on Twitter. 

Another Twitter user thanked the companies for endorsing face to face communication again.

“Thanks @CocaCola and @Delta, for encouraging people to TALK to one another, make new friends or do anything besides stare mindlessly at phones. But don’t you know it’s practically illegal to flirt these days? Sad world, but nice try & not #creepy.”

Others acknowledged that the campaign was created with good intentions, but just flat out failed in its delivery. “Napkins received from @Delta on Wednesday flight seem unintentionally creepy, especially after reading the smaller print. Swing and a miss, @DietCoke.” a user wrote reflecting on their flight.

Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines apologized for giving out these napkins with their snack services on flights and started the process of removing them before social media circulated their failed flirtatious attempt. A Delta spokesperson told INSIDER, "We rotate Coke products regularly as part of our brand partnership, but missed the mark with this one.  We are sorry for that and began removing the napkins from our aircraft in January.”

Coca-Cola provided statements to The Washington Post and PEOPLE about the napkins.  “We sincerely apologize to anyone we may have offended. We worked with our partners at Delta to begin removing the napkins last month and are replacing them with other designs.”