After nearly a year of operating, Pepsi’s monthly online charity contest faces persistent allegations that third parties are helping competitors manipulate the results, according to The New York Times.
The latest charges raise questions about a person who, under the name “Mr. Magic,” has purportedly e-mailed nonprofit groups offering to help catapult them into the top ranks of the Pepsi Refresh voting in exchange for payments or a share of their winnings.
The contest started last February by the soft-drink giant offers grants ranging from $5,000 to $250,000 to the top vote-getters in monthly online balloting. Some losing charities contend winners have used the Mr. Magic service to pile up proxy votes and votes from abroad, in violation of the contest rules.
Read more about charity efforts to win the contest in this article from The Chronicle's archive.