DR PEPPER Discusses 'Chinese Democracy' Challenge

Greg Artkop, the Director of Corporate Communications for Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages (the parent company of Dr Pepper), has spoken to the GUNS N' ROSES fan site GnrDaily.com about the Dr Pepper soft drink company 's announcement that it will offer a free can of its signature soda to "everyone in America" if GN'R releases its long-delayed new album, "Chinese Democracy", in 2008. A few excerpts from the brief question-and-answer session follow:

GnrDaily.com: There is a tremendous buzz right now with regards to the Dr Pepper challenge. What brought this on?

Greg Artkop: Dr Pepper believes the world needs more GN'R. We wanted to do our part to get "Chinese Democracy" out of the studio and into our iPods.

GnrDaily.com: On the GN'R official web site, Axl [Rose] responded to the challenge, quite quickly in fact! To fans that was a surprise. Did you read his response? If so could you comment on it?

Greg Artkop: We were extremely pleased that Axl responded so quickly and favorably to our offer. I guess we'll have to expand to include a Dr Pepper for Buckethead. That was an interesting and unexpected bonus!

GnrDaily.com: How far is Dr Pepper willing to go with this challenge? Is there a possibility of commercials? Or concert sponsorships? Or would you go as far as an album tie in?

Greg Artkop: If Dr Pepper is approached to support the release we'll definitely consider it.

GnrDaily.com: Has your company gone as far as developing a plan to carry out the distribution of their product should the album actually be released this year? If so and you can share what is it?

Greg Artkop: If the album is released in 2008, everyone will have the opportunity to download a coupon for a free Dr Pepper from our website.

GnrDaily.com: Has anyone from your company had contact with GUNS N' ROSES management or with Axl himself regarding the challenge?

Greg Artkop: We heard from GN'R management regarding the challenge. They were surprised about the offer but supportive of our efforts as you can tell from Axl's response.

GnrDaily.com: I'm sure our readers want to know, are you a GUNS N' ROSES fan? If so do you have a favorite song?

Greg Artkop: Big GN'R fan. Not enough room to list all my faves but my favorite GN'R song is still "Welcome to the Jungle". And thanks to Guitar Hero III, I've learned that you haven't lived until you've played it on a plastic guitar. Adrenaline kicks in every time I hear it!

"Chinese Democracy" has reportedly been in the works since 1995, with Rose the only original member still in the band. According to a report published two years ago by the New York Times, Rose had allegedly burned through $13 million in the studio by that point.

Although a revamped GUNS lineup toured successfully in 2006 and Rose tentatively promised that the record would be out last March, it never materialized and little has been heard about it since.

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