NETFLIX has announced a new documentary that follows the wild legal battle between Pepsi and two young men who have claimed the soda giant owes them a military jet.
In 1996, the beverage company published a competition in which the fighter plane was offered as the main prize. While this was intended as a joke, 20-year-old college student John Leonard and notorious attorney Michael Avenatti took it as a challenge.
The wild tale, told in the Netflix documentary series Pepsi, Where’s My Jet, began when PepsiCo launched a marketing program to gain an advantage during the Coke Wars.
Advertising officials wanted to get young people to choose Pepsi over Coca-Cola by creating a rewards program where shoppers could earn Pepsi points by purchasing their drinks.
A hilarious commercial has been released explaining how you can use the points to purchase items like Pepsi t-shirts, a leather jacket and even sunglasses.
The video clip ends with a teenager flying to school in his Harrier fighter jet, which he appears to have earned by spending 7 million Pepsi points.
While most people clearly took this as a joke, one young man decided to call the bluff of the lemonade giant.
Seattle college student John Leonard jumped into action and began devising ways to earn millions of points without breaking the bank.
After doing the math, he found he’d need to buy 1.4 million 12-packs, which meant he’d spend a whopping $4.3 million on soda — not to mention where he stocks the ridiculous number of cans would.
Luckily, Leonard found a small loophole that made his dream of taking the plan to more than $30 million a reality.
It turns out anyone can buy Pepsi points for just 10 cents a point, which means it costs $700,000 to get the amount required for the fighter jet, according to the commercial.
Working with his friend and entrepreneur Todd Hoffman, they found enough money to send Pepsi a check and await their Pepsi Points and of course the Harrier Fighter Jet.
In the docuseries, the disgruntled Pepsi officials recounted their attempts to quell the situation, saying the Harrier-Jet bid was just a ruse.
Executives continue to argue that they were “just kidding” in the commercial, but Leonard noted that there was no fine print suggesting such information.
Avenatti, Leonard and Stormy Daniels’ future attorney, was by this point confident in his position and began litigation against Pepsi after the company began pressuring him with corporate attorneys.
“John was the all-American kid,” Hoffman told the Guardian.
“He was the Pepsi generation. And that’s kind of ironic too.
“Rather than hiring lawyers and suing us, they could have done the right thing and said, ‘This boy made the deal.
Ultimately, the judge ruled in Pepsi’s favor and they didn’t get their jet – but the two friends said it was worth it in the end.
“I don’t think we look back with regret,” Leonard told Indie Wire.
“We didn’t choose the jet, but both of us – and to be honest I wouldn’t have said that two years ago before starting this project – but now we look back and I have very fond, positive memories that we had a lot of fun in order to.
“I hid from this story for a long time; it felt like a failure on many levels.
“[But] it taught me a whole lot about people and business and all that stuff.
“It taught me to laugh at myself and I think it taught both Todd and I about friendship.”
Pepsi, where’s my jet? now streaming on Netflix.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6703700/michael-avenatti-john-leonard-pepsi-legal-battle-fighter-jet/ In Michael Avenatti’s controversial legal battle with Pepsi to win a $30 million Harrier jet from John Leonard and Todd Hoffman