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Backlash against an ill-advised Swedish advertising campaign depicting a Cristiano Ronaldo voodoo doll in various states of distress has forced Pepsi to apologize. The images were intended to capitalize on the banter surrounding Portugal's World Cup qualifying playoff against Sweden. Instead, it prompted 21,000 angry Portuguese Facebook users and counting to swear off Pepsi.
The furious response was quick, so Pepsi deleted the photos of the Ronaldo voodoo doll covered in pins, tied up on a train track, and with its head crushed by a Pepsi can from their Swedish-language Facebook page. The company (which happens to count Lionel Messi as a spokesman) then spread a groveling apology.
We would never want to put the sport or the spirit of competition in a negative light. We regret if people were offended by the posts; they were immediately taken down. We would like to extend our apologies to all concerned.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored all four of Portugal's goals in their 4-2 aggregate win to qualify for the World Cup, proving that corporate voodoo doesn't work at all. And Portuguese fans were quick to rub it in with some clever photoshops like these...
"Brazil, here I come."