Oct. 22, 2009— -- Deluged with criticism from across the Internet, PepsiCo today announced that it was pulling a controversial iPhone application from Apple's App store -- one that claimed to help men "score" with women.
In a statement, the company said removing the application was the "most appropriate course of action" after listening to "a variety of audiences," The Associated Press reported.
The app, called AMP Up Before You Score, was launched to help the company promote its new AMP Energy drink.
The application's description said it was a "roadmap to success with your favorite kinds of women" that will "change your game and raise your expectations."
The app divided women into 24 categories, from artists and aspiring actresses to bookworms and businesswomen.
Once the user identified the kind of woman he was trying to score, the app provided "a cheatsheet on the stuff she's into, with lists, links and some surefire opening lines."
But that wasn't all. Assuming the guy got lucky, the app let him keep a "Brag List," with names, dates and other details. It also encouraged users to "flaunt it," by sharing their lists with friends via e-mail, Facebook and Twitter.
The app quickly generated online attacks from blogers, Twitter users and Facebook members.
The popular female-focused blog Jezebel called it "unacceptable and ridiculously offensive."
On Twitter, adopting the hashtag #pepsifail, hundreds of users protested the new app, some even threatening to boycott the company's products.
"Until app removed I'm guessing PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi advising her daughter to avoid boys with iPhones," tweeted one user.
The criticism reached such a pitch that early last week, Pepsi tweeted an apology.
"Our app tried 2 show the humorous lengths guys go 2 pick up women. We apologize if it's in bad taste & appreciate your feedback. #pepsifail," it tweeted from the AMPwhatsnext Twitter account.
The application isn't the only one to have stirred debate. Here are a few other iPhone applications that courted controversy.
In April, the 99 cent Baby Shaker, was pulled from the App Store after it prompted outrage from organizations such as the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome and the Sarah Jane Brain Foundation.
The description of the app said, "See how long you can endure his or her adorable cries before you just have to find a way to quiet the baby down!"
The program displays a black and white picture of a baby with the sound of crying. Users shake the iPhone to stop the crying until Xs appear on the eyes of the baby. The company behind the app, Sikalosoft, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Apple offered an apology soon after it appeared, the same day the App Store reached 1 billion downloads.
Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris said the game was "deeply offensive" and should not have been approved for sale, according to The Associated Press.
"We sincerely apologize for this mistake," Kerris said in a statement.
Apple told him it was turned down because it didn't contain any user-accessible functionality, he said.
Macia said he adapted the app in March so that it's now an E-Book of P.T. Barnum's "Art of Money Getting." But he's still waiting for word from Apple.
"Their process -- why they approve stuff and why they don't -- is really a black-box type of thing," he told ABCNews.com.
Still, Apple's vague process has not stopped Macia from trying, and failing, again on another app. He learned in January that his game "Prohibition 2: Dope Wars" had also been rejected.
In the game, users pretend to be drug dealers in New York City trying to make as much money as possible in 30 days by trafficking illegal substances.
Macia said Apple rejected him because it violated the company's guidelines for developers.
In its Software Development Kit (SDK), it says that "Applications must not contain any obscene, pornographic, offensive or defamatory content or materials of any kind (text, graphics, images, photographs, etc.), or other content or materials that in Apple's reasonable judgment may be found objectionable by iPhone or iPod touch users."
But Macia told ABCnews.com that it's not like iTunes and the App Store don't contain any potentially offensive material. "The iTunes store has so many songs and movies about cocaine and killing people," he said.
And the number of farting applications easily exceeds 100, he added. "I find 137 farting applications objectionable," he said. "I find that a lot ruder than a game."
Macia went back to the drawing board, changed the name of the game to "Prohibition 1: Bootlegger," replaced the names of drugs with the names of alcohol and went back to Apple.
This time, the company approved it. Encouraged, Macia successfully submitted another game "Prohibition 3: Candy Wars," set in a future in which candy is illegal.
Since he'd scored with two games that were only cosmetically different from the original one that had been rejected, he tried once more. But, no such luck: It got the thumbs down again.
Apple told the developer it was "inappropriate sexual content," according to PCWorld.com.
But MGD Development Director John van der Burg said, "Watching an episode of Baywatch on TV shows a lot more than iBoobs. Besides that, iBoobs is just a 3-D model and not even real."
The developer behind "Slasher" was also told his app was out of line.
Created by Josef Wankerl of Austin, Texas, the app displays a kitchen knife on the screen and plays the "horror" sound when you make a stabbing motion with the phone or iPod Touch.
He said it appeared August 6 but was yanked August 7.
Apple told him it violated the part of the guidelines that objected to "obscene, pornographic, offensive or defamatory content," he said.
"I have no problem with people objecting to 'Slasher.' After all, everyone has their own personal taste. I do have a problem with the App Store refusing to publish 'Slasher' because they don't like it," he wrote to ABCNews.com in an e-mail.
He also said it bothers him that other approved Apps could also be seen as obscene or offensive. "Bar Fight Bottle," for example, lets you pretend to smash a bottle with your phone and other apps serve as pretend pistols, shot guns and ray guns.
He said he improved the app and was told, upon resubmitting it, that it had been approved. But despite weeks of e-mails, the status still says "Removed from Sale."
"I thought there was a decent chance they would reject it but it was a chance I was willing to take," Vance told ABCNews.com. "I was disappointed."
He said Apple told him the app was defamatory. But Vance disagreed and decided to let the company's CEO know about it.
Surprisingly, Jobs wrote back: "Even though my personal political leanings are democratic, I think this app will be offensive to roughly half our customers. What's the point? Steve"
Vance wasn't entirely pleased with the company but was impressed by the CEO and took it as a good omen, he said.