Thursday, September 30, 2010
Sex line on Chad Ochocinco's cereal
ESPN.com news services
CINCINNATI -- Charity-minded callers are getting intercepted by a sex phone line because of a misprint on Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco's namesake cereal boxes.
Because of a wrong toll-free prefix for a number listed on Ochocinco's cereal, callers are directed to a phone sex line instead of a children's charity.
The phone number is supposed to connect callers to Feed the Children, which benefits from sales of "Ochocinco's." But because the box has the wrong toll-free prefix, they get a seductive-sounding woman who makes risque suggestions and then asks for a credit card number.
Ochocinco apologized to the public for the mixup on his popular Twitter page Thursday, "Awe man im bummed about the cereal number mixup on the cereal, trying to do good and got messed up, of all numbers why that one!!! Sorry.
"For those who were offended by the mixup my deepest apologies but i was only bringing awareness to a charity that im a huge part of, SORRY."
Cincinnati-based Kroger Co. said Thursday it was pulling all Ochocinco cereal boxes from its grocery shelves because of the error. Some local stores had them on special display after the launch about a month ago.
Pittsburgh-based PLB Sports Inc., which specializes in limited-edition products featuring star athletes and their favorite charities, apologized for the error in a statement Thursday. The statement said the boxes will be reissued with the correct toll-free number.
Ochocinco told WCPO-TV that the number was clearly a mistake and he's sure that the maker will fix the problem.
Tara Sands of Reading, Ohio, told WCPO-TV and the Cincinnati Enquirer that her family called the number on the box hoping to learn more about the charity.
"We don't need anything to give our Bengals a bad name, especially Chad," Sands told WCPO. "He's obviously trying to do something great by doing this [for] 'Feed The Children.'"
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.