After making what should have been the safest claim in promotion history - that they would offer a free Dr. Pepper to every American if the oft-delayed Chinese Democracy saw a 2008 release date - the company decided to stick to its guns.
Well, kinda. Despite making the window for actually claiming your prize shorter than the half-life of your average '80s-era bleach metal derivative, Dr. Pepper's servers promptly crashed during the frenzy of signups which ensued. Pessimism regarding Rose's timeliness might as well be ingrained into human DNA by now, right up there with, say, pessimism about your network's ability to handle a sudden traffic burst.
Here's a bit of gratis consulting work for Dr. Pepper: PEOPLE LIKE FREE STUFF, and when you offer free stuff on your website, you'd better get it nice and lubed up before you open the floodgates.
Sudden influxes of traffic are the bane of the average site admin's existence, but when they're the result of something which is entirely planned by the company, any admin worth his generic cubicle toys will take the necessary measures to counteract the expected hits.
Whether Dr. Pepper's net staff didn't expect the promotion to take off or Dr. Pepper's bean counters didn't want to allocate the funds necessary to keep things up and running smoothly is a matter of speculation, but someone on their end did drop the ball, and now Team Axl is annoyed.
Axl and...well, Axl kept mostly mum about the promotion until now, and why not? As long as Dr. Pepper didn't totally screw it up, it was a win-win for Rose. He gets to look like he's doing his fans a favor, and the tongue-in-cheek celebratory nature of it makes him look like he's able to take a good-natured shot at his expense.
But now that Dr. Pepper has (in his lawyers' opinion) dropped the ball, this just looks like the chocolate cherry on top of the hot disaster sundae that is Chinese Democracy's sordid history. I'd be pissed, too.