John Leonard and Todd Hoffman were involved in the Pepsi Points court case

John Leonard and Todd Hoffman were involved in the Pepsi Points court case

John Leonard stars in the Netflix Pepsi documentary series, Where’s My Jet, which follows his attempts to get a soft drink company to give him a military jet.

Netflix documentary miniseries Pepsi Where’s My Jet? follows two friends, John Leonard and Todd Hoffman, who hit on the idea of ​​suing Pepsi over a military plane. An incredible true story took place in the 1990s when Pepsi poured millions into advertising to acquire Coca-Cola.

John Leonard

Who is John Leonard?

John Leonard was a student when he joined the multi-billion dollar multinational soft drink company PepsiCo in the 1990s. Leonard saw a Pepsi commercial, released in 1996, that showed consumers could earn Pepsi points by purchasing bottles of cans of the soft drink and exchange the points for various rewards.

The ad showed that 90 Pepsi points could get you a t-shirt, 120 points could be exchanged for sunglasses, and 1,400 points could get you a leather jacket. At the end of the ad, a teenage boy lands a Harrier Jet in front of a school, joking that it ‘definitely beats a bus’. After it is crucial, a text will flash announcing that the jet could be exchanged for 7 million Pepsi points.

It would cost Leonard millions to buy Pepsi cans in bulk, pay warehouses to store them, and hire employees to peel the coupons – horrified, he found another way to beat the system.

John Leonard and Todd Hoffman in the Arctic

Pepsi also stated that Pepsi points could be purchased for 10 cents, so Leonard teamed up with his friend and business owner Todd Hoffman. The pair met while rock climbing and, despite Todd being two decades older, they became close friends.

Leonard and Hoffman tried to give their $700,000 check to Pepsi, but were turned down by the company, which said the ad was an obvious joke. The case finally went to trial in 1999.

Did John Leonard get a Harrier plane?

No, John failed at trial, the case that became known as the Pepsi Points Case was presided over by Judge Kimba Wood. While Leonard argued that he was entitled to the Harrier plane because there was no disclaimer in the ad, Wood found in favor of PepsiCo.

She said no reasonable person would believe the ad was a serious offer. Hoffman said Wood supported Pepsi in the case because she was a corporate attorney.

What happened to John Leonard?

It’s been 25 years since Leonard joined Pepsi and he seems to have gotten over the lack of a Harrier jet. Now, at the age of 48, he lives in Talkeetna, Alaska and works as a national park ranger.

He has a wife named Dottie and the couple have a daughter and a son. He and Hoffman remained friends and recently went on an expedition to Mount Vinson, Antarctica’s highest peak.

In an interview with The Guardian this month, Hoffman said of Leonard: “He is demonstrably insane. He has a job. He has a beautiful family. He has a house, pays his mortgage, and goes to work every day, but he has real mental stuff going on. Way outside the box.”

Both Leonard and Hoffman appear in the Netflix documentary – in the trailer, Leonard explains that he really just wanted a jet. He has since said that he truly believed he would be successful and did not pursue Pepsi because he wanted publicity.

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