After years of seeing its Dublin Dr Pepper bottler ship its product far beyond its rural six-county territory using a distinctive logo and implying — on Facebook and elsewhere — that sugar sets it apart, the Dr Pepper Snapple Group took action. The publicly traded corporation took the tiny family-owned bottler to federal court in Sherman on Tuesday, demanding that it abide by its 2009 agreement or lose its license. No monetary damages are sought.
“It’s unfortunate,” said corporate spokesman Chris Barnes. “We tried to do everything to avoid going to court, but [the bottler] refused” to honor its licensing agreement to use only approved logos and sell within its distribution territory.
All the more galling, the tiny bottler — responsible for just a tenth of 1 percent of Dr Pepper’s national output by volume — has sold its “Dublin Dr Pepper”-branded sodas from California to New York, and even in Plano, the brand owner’s hometown, the lawsuit complained.
Like a Texas-sized flyswatter, the lawsuit is being used to squash the small-town bottler’s mystique. It asserted that much of the sugar-sweetened soft drink is not made in Dublin, about 80 miles southwest of Fort Worth, but is actually outsourced to an independent bottler in Temple.
Pibb is much better, btw.