Mr. Magic and a Sullied Pepsi Refresh

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January 6, 2011; Source: New York Times | Here’s another one of those “we could have seen this coming” situations. According to Stephanie Strom of the New York Times, Pepsi Refresh, the high profile charity contest which encourages nonprofits to compete for grants by having supporters vote for them, is apparently being sullied by (gasp) bought votes.

Those votes are apparently being organized by a certain “Mr. Magic” who seems to be operating out of India via his accountant in Baton Rouge, La. This violates Pepsi’s rules against both proxy votes and votes from abroad. Some of the contestants have cried foul and say that they have repeatedly complained to Pepsi but with little effect.—Ruth McCambridge

  • Ann Goody

    Pepsi can take back their contest from the scammers. The idea is a good one that they should put a bit more attention in policing. 😮 With a little effort this could be a huge help to small community groups in 2011.
    Send Mr Magic back to India and toss out those who cheat!

  • Just Me

    It seems that Pepsi turns a blind eye to proxy voting. They implimented a rule against proxy voting and then allowed teams to proxy vote. They seem to be more concerned with the publicity of the event than its legitimacy.

  • New to contest

    My group is in the running for the 1st time, $50k for Jan. Before I found out about Progressive Slate and Mr. Magic, I had hope. Now I’m trying not to cry. Why should I try anymore if there is no hope?

  • Kerrie E.

    I would not be surprised it this has been happening in the $250,000 category as well. I believe Cystic Fibrosis was a legitimate winner 2 of the 5 months they have been competing as they were knocked out of the money in the final hours after being number 1 or 2 for most of the month in question. Very sad 🙁

  • Roberta Hayes

    It IS very Sad. Groups like the Childrens Cord Blood Bank are fighting with legitimate votes & voting for others that deserve to Win. Cheaters have NO place in the Pepsi contest. VOTE Text 105474 to 73774

  • John Carren

    I don’t understand why an organization which is supposedly devoted to animals would cast doubt on a woman who has devoted her life to cats and their welfare .the detriment of her own health and monetary welfare. Guardian Angels is a small organization devoted to cats. Mrs. Schultz did not pay anyone to vote and spent a long time on the roster to win. Why do you malign her name? Is it because your organization did not win? I voted for your organization because Mrs. Schultz asked me to do so, I am sorry that I did. You may be a bitter loser, but you are not an animal lover!!!