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Mini Cooper PR stunt backfires with weather disaster

BMW apologized after a PR strategy to pay for the naming rights to a weather system backfired -- that system turned into the deep freeze that's claimed dozens of lives across Europe.

The goal was to promote BMW's Mini Cooper brand by paying Germany's meteorological office 299 euros ($392) to name a system "Cooper" -- a practice in place since 2002 to help fund weather monitoring work in Germany. Unfortunately for BMW, the system it was assigned to turned out to be a killer.

"Of course we are sorry. It was not intentional, you cannot tell in advance what a weather system will do," a company spokeswoman told The Independent of London.

BMW also has had plans to later this year name a low-pressure system "Minnie" -- no word whether that's still in the works, though.

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