On August 16, a stunt in Sophia Square in Kyiv (Ukraine’s capital city), caused an outrage in social media in which Red Bull was accused of illegal drifting. A maker of energy drinks, Red Bull pulled off a creative event and publicity that showed off its sponsored off-road trucks with screaming race and drift cars steered by highly skilled professional drivers.
For the sake of entertainment, it caused a brawl in some of the world’s most prudent but forbidden go-fast locations. In celebration of Ukrainian Flag Day and Independence Day, Red Bull Ukraine was filming a commercial with local rap star Alyona Alyona in the passenger seat making no efforts to close off the square to pedestrians.
The video showed two Red Bull Nissan drift cars. Around the Bohdan Khmelnytsky monument in Sophia Square, the cars were piloted by Irish drifter, Conor Shanahan and Ukrainian Oleksandr Grynchuk drifted side by side. The cars are obscured by white smoke that slides loudly and precariously close to one another. This drew attention from morning pedestrian traffic and to the police who evidently arrived on the scene many times but didn't stop the drifting.
Since the Sophia Square area was near a protected United Nations Educational Organization, Kyiv officials were not impressed by the Red Bull’s intolerable act of vandalism. It is a historical monument and Red Bull should need separate approval.
While the company asked the city for permission to stunt, Deputy Mayor Konstiantyn Usov said in an August 10 Facebook post that the city officials turned the company down.
“Red Bull did it secretly early in the morning with no measures to protect the pedestrians that could risk dozens of lives who go to work in the morning across the Square and had to avoid the drifting cars and that might end in a tragic result”, Usov said.
Beyond the danger to the public, the drift car left tire marks on more than 2,000 sq meters(21, 527 sq ft) of traditional Kyiv yellow bricks. Officials were outraged by those that had visually damaged Sophia Square’s yellow clinker brick pavement. Red Bull is assured it always provides a clean-up crew after its video shoots. A Red Bull official later posted a video that shows crews attempting to remove the tire marks.
They assured it always provides a clean-up crew after its video shoots. Despite being accused by Usov of giving the event their blessing, the outlet also reports that the police have opened a probe into the incident. The opponents were concerned that the stunt had posed a safety risk since Red Bull did not secure any barriers around the area. Authorities are calculating the monetary value of the damages. Those involved in the video shoot were surprised to see outrage surface after the drifters had left Sophia Square, within the police allegedly arriving at the site where the racers and cars were seized by tow trucks.
“Now, Red Bull has spoken up on the matter and admitted its fault for shooting the video without proper permission. "We did not follow all the necessary procedures," wrote a Red Bull spokesperson in a statement to The Drive. "We deeply regret this oversight on our part. It was always our intention to clean the site so that we would leave it as we found it. This work was completed last week by the cleaning company we had contracted. We greatly value the warm relationship we have enjoyed for many years with the city of Kyiv and are grateful for the opportunity to continue to demonstrate this."- The Drive
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