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Dr Pepper's new 'evolution' ad: Offensive to Christians?

The Week

A seemingly harmless ad campaign has landed the popular soft drink in hot water with Christian fundamentalists who don't believe we came from apes

The image: Dr Pepper found itself in the midst of a theological debate this week, when it posted an ad called "Evolution of Flavor" on its Facebook page (see the offending graphic below). The ad, which depicts an ape completing its evolution into man upon discovering a can of Dr Pepper, has angered Christians who don't believe in the theory posited by Charles Darwin 150 years ago. Opponents of evolution quickly filled Dr. Pepper's Facebook page with avowals to boycott the drink. "I ain't no freaking chimp," one wrote. "No more Dr Pepper for my household. God bless y'all." In response, non-believers ridiculed evolution deniers, with one saying, "The day your faith is shaken by a Dr Pepper ad is the day you should probably start reconsidering your faith." By Friday afternoon, the ad had attracted 4,355 comments.

The reaction: "Clearly, Dr Pepper was not trying to shit on Christianity with this graphic," says Mack Rawden at Pop Blend. "Going to war over it is pointless." The ad's creators were not "trying to provoke anyone except maybe to drink their soda," says Perez Hilton. Still, companies "get themselves into trouble when they use controversial issues and themes to push their products," says Billy Hallowell at The Blaze. Oreo found itself in a similar situation when it posted an ad on its Facebook page in support of gay rights.

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