Michigan woman relinquishes Dr. Pepper Twitter handle in exchange for water donation

Rather than shaking down a brand for tons of money for a social media account, a Michigan woman is going the altruistic route.

Diana Hussein has been squatting on the @DietDrPepper Twitter handle since 2009, telling the Detroit Free Press she chose it during the platform’s early days because the soda was the nearest thing on her desk and she was not expecting that Twitter would become a marketing tool.

Fast forward seven years and seemingly every brand in the world has a personified Twitter account. Hussein said she’s been trying to offload the account for the past three years but Dr. Pepper finally took her seriously in January, saying it would give her merchandise in exchange for it.

That wasn’t good enough.

“I wasn’t sure what I was going to do at first. Just about everyone I spoke to told me that I shouldn’t just give them the handle. Especially not just for ‘swag,'” Hussein told the newspaper.

So, since Dr. Pepper’s parent company also owns DeJa Blue water, she told the brand she would hand over the Twitter handle for a large donation of 41,000 bottled waters to be distributed in Flint, Michigan where parts of the water supply are contaminated with poisonous lead because of government oversight.

The brand sent the town $5,000 worth of water in early March.

“I had been feeling kind of helpless. Still do, really. But I’m glad I had an opportunity like this present itself for me to be able to take advantage,” Hussein said.

Dr. Pepper didn’t immediately respond for comment.