88 F. Supp. 2d 116 (S.D.N.Y. 1999).

One-Sentence Takeaway: A television commercial informing consumers that they could collect Pepsi “points” for catalog items was not “sufficiently definite” to constitute an offer.

Summary:  A television commercial viewer brought suit against Pepsico, Inc., asking the court to enforce an alleged contractual commitment of Pepsico to provide a fighter jet aircraft in return for “Pepsi points.” The “Pepsi points” promotion in question “encouraged consumers to collect ‘Pepsi Points’ from specially marked packages of Pepsi or Diet Pepsi and redeem these points for merchandise featuring the Pepsi logo.”

In a commercial advertisement some of the “prizes,” along with their point values, were displayed and towards the end of the commercial the words “HARRIER FIGHTER 7,000,000 PEPSI POINTS” appeared. Leonard attempted to collect the 7,000,000 Pepsi Points needed, and when Pepsi refused to honor the offer and provide the fighter jet, Leonard brought suit against Pepsi.

The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled in favor of defendant Pepsico.  The court held that a soft drink manufacturer’s television commercial that showed several items of merchandise available in exchange for product points and ending with display of jet aircraft with words “7,000,000 points” appearing on screen, was not an offer by the manufacturer to provide a jet aircraft in exchange for specified points and, instead, the offer occurred when a viewer tendered points and requested the aircraft.

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