Oops: Misprinted Cereal Box Number Sends Callers to Sex Hotline, Not Charity

NFL wide receiver Chad Ochocinco is known for his shocking statements and off-the-field antics. But the latest oh-my moment associated with the Cincinnati Bengal, and involving a cereal box, wasn’t planned — and it’s prompted some apologies.

This week, the receiver launched a new cereal, “OchocincO’s,” that featured a printed number on the box meant to send callers to the charity Feed The Children. One problem: the number connects callers to a seductive voice asking for a credit card number and offering phone sex.

PLB Sports, which specializes in athlete-themed merchandise featuring their favorite charities, helped organize the cereal’s production and apologized for the error in a statement Thursday:

Pittsburgh based PLB Sports would like to apologize for the printing of the incorrect Feed The Children toll free number on Ochocinco’s Cereal boxes that are available in the Cincinnati market. PLB Sports Inc. will be immediately pulling the product from the Kroger shelves due to this mistake. The correct toll free number for Feed the Children is 1-888-HELP-FTC.

PLB Sports Inc. will be reprinting the Ochocinco’s cereal boxes with the correct toll free number.

Rosenhaus Sports, which represents Ochocinco, told The Cincinnati Enquirer that the charity gave the supplier the wrong phone number. The number originally included an 800 designation instead of an 888.

“You do have to admit it is kind of funny. When we dialed it for the second time, I sat there and thought ‘are you kidding me?’ Nobody has found this yet?” Sarah Sand told WCPO-TV in Cincinnati. Sand discovered the error when her 9-year-old daughter dialed the number.

The regional grocery store Kroger has pulled the cereal from its shelves and Ochocinco has apologized for the unintentional mistake.

“I take the blame and apologize to everyone affected,” he told reporters before Bengals practice Thursday. “It’s almost like it was supposed to happen.”

And while he reiterated that he is sincerely sorry for the mistake, he has his own theory as to how it happened: “It’s made in Pittsburgh,” he said jokingly. “It makes you think that somebody playing for the Steelers had something to do with it.”