Katy Perry‘s in the crosshairs of a handful of consumer advocacy groups for her association with Pepsi.
USA Today reports that the consumer watchdogs, including the influential Center for Science in the Public Interest, will run a full-page ad in Variety on Tuesday (Oct. 22), asking the pop star to stop working with Pepsi in their marketing of the soft drink to children.
“It’s a sad story that some of the best-known celebrities in the country are encouraging their young audiences to drink beverages that are bad for their health,” Michael Jacobson, executive director of the group, says. “We’re focusing on Katy because she’s so popular with young people.” (It doesn’t hurt that Perry is releasing her third album, “Prism,” on the same day.)
The ad will say, “Being popular among children brings with it an enormous responsibility. Don’t exploit that popularity by marketing a product that causes disease in your fans.”
Perry and Pepsi have no long-term endorsement deal and the company has technically never had her under contract, but they have worked together through third parties. For the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, Pepsi asked fans to vote on which song Perry performed. They’ve also teamed for a campaign for her concert film, “Part of Me 3D.”
The pop star is just the start of the advocacy group’s work. Jacobson says others will be targeted after her. Perry was targeted first, he says, because of her popularity with kids. Of her 45 million Twitter followers, around half are under the age of 16, Demographics Pro, a social media market research firm, reports.
Jacobson says the kids all take away the same message from Perry’s Pepsi ads: “Live for now — and worry about the health consequences later.”
Do you think Perry’s being unfairly targeted?