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article imageA strange tale of ketchup and pornography

By Tim Sandle     Jun 20, 2015 in Food
Heinz has issued an apology after a QR code on a bottle of its famous ketchup directed users to a pornography site, rather than to the intended product information section on the company's own website.
The issue was raised by Daniel Korell, a customer in Germany, who purchased a bottle of the red sauce and then scanned the QR code printed on the bottle with his smartphone. Instead of being directed to a "more about Heinz ketchup" website he found himself looking at some hard-core pornography instead.
The issue arose because the QR code printed on the ketchup bottle was out-of-date. Heinz failed to renew the code and it was snapped up by a site specializing in 57 varieties of something else.
QR codes, unlike Internet links (the http or https text), do not allow the person accessing them to see what the site is before they open it. This is because the QR code appears as a matrix bar-code. QR code is an abbreviation of "Quick Response Code."
The part of the Heinz site that should have been accessed by the QR code was part of a special promotion, and one likely to be popular with many consumers of the tomato based sauce. The QR code was linked to a promotion where consumers could design their own label for a bottle of a new variation in the Heinz range, called "Heniz Tomato Ketchup Hot." This new product appears to be a European version of the recently launched sriracha flavor ketchup in the U.S.
Korell told BBC News: "I happened to scan it during lunch and I was a bit surprised where I got redirected to...I found it rather funny and thought it was worth [sharing] on Heinz's Facebook page." Posting on the Heinz site, Korell wrote: "Your ketchup is probably not for minors."
Heinz has apologized for the error and corrected the link. Mr. Korell received one free bottle of ketchup from the company as a way of thanking him for picking up on what was a major mistake.
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