Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Bittman: "Why Do Stars Think It's O.K. To Sell Soda?"

Here are the first handful of paragraphs from a recent Mark Bittman column in the online edition of The New York Times that criticizes celebrities for endorsing soda. (Click here to read "Why Do Stars Think It's O.K. To Sell Soda?" in its entirety.)
"BeyoncĂ© Knowles would presumably refuse to take part in an ad campaign that showed her carrying a semiautomatic rifle. But she’s eager, evidently, to have the Pepsi logo painted on her lips and have a limited-edition Pepsi can bearing her likeness. 
"You’ll soon see her on Feb. 3 at the Pepsi Super Bowl halftime show, where she’ll be introduced by 50 of her luckiest and best-gyrating fans who have been selected through a contest. (Yes, you can try out!)
"For this and other efforts, Pepsi is spending $50 million, part of which will support her 'creative projects.' And unless she’s donating some or all of that money, this is an odd move for a politically aware woman who, with her husband, Jay-Z, raised money for President Obama and supported Michelle Obama’s 'Let’s Move' campaign, meant to encourage children to exercise.

"Knowles is renting her image to a product that may one day be ranked with cigarettes as a killer we were too slow to rein in. From saying, as she once did in referring to Let’s Move, that she was 'excited to be part of this effort that addresses a public health crisis,' she’s become part of an effort that promotes a public health crisis. I suppose it would be one thing if she needed the money or the exposure but she and Jay-Z are worth around $775 million.

"Nor is she alone: a partial list of soda shills has ranged from LeBron James to Madonna to the 'frenzy-inducing' One Direction, and on: Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Elton John, Christina Aguilera and David Beckham. Seemingly, no celebrities turn down endorsement deals for ethical reasons.

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