Thursday, 4:30 PM
Dr Pepper apologizes, promises to reimburse city for costs, plus $10,000
By John R. Ellement and Andrew Ryan, Globe staff
The makers of Dr Pepper apologized today for hiding a prize from a marketing campaign inside the Granary Burying Ground and promised to reimburse the city for extra security expenses it incurred and donate $10,000 to the colonial-era cemetery.
"The coin should never have been placed in such a hallowed site, and we sincerely apologize," said Greg Artkop, a spokesman for Dr Pepper, in a written statement.
Since the Boston leg of the promotion was cancelled Thursday after outcry from city officials, the company also said it would hold a raffle to award $10,000 to one of the local contestants who had collected enough clues to lead them to the prize location.
"We hope to award that prize shortly," Artkop said.
A marketing company working for Dr Pepper hid a coin inside the cast iron gates of the Granary Burying Ground in downtown Boston as a part of its "Hunt for More" promotion. Similar treasure hunts took place in 22 other cities in the United States and Canada and sent contestants following a series of clues in hopes of winning prizes that ranged from $10,000 to $1 million.
The Boston coin, which was supposed to be redeemable for $10,000, was hidden in the 347-year-old cemetery on Tremont Street along the Freedom Trail. The burial ground, however, had been closed by the Parks Department since Monday because of icy walkways.
This morning, the company safely recovered the coin and no damage was done to the cemetery.
Artkop noted in his statement today that the coin was placed on the ground -- not at a grave.