Being an international pop music superstar has an overreaching influence on young fans that a product endorsement can even put them at the risk of being overweight or obese. This is what "Roar" singer Katy Perry may have realized on Tuesday, October 22, when the Center for Science in the Public Interest and six other consumer health advocacy groups placed a one-page ad on Variety magazine slamming her for promoting the popular soft drink brand.
"Virginia Slims and other tobacco companies used glamorous celebrities and models to position smoking as hip, sexy and rebellious. Today soda companies are using you and other celebrities to convince young people that drinking soda is hip, sexy and rebellious. 'Drink Pepsi and you can be cool like Katy Perry,' is the takeaway message for your young fans. 'Live for now' and worry about the health consequences later," the nutrition watchdogs told the 28-year-old singer.
The open letter also appealed to Perry not to have her popularity be exploited in promoting something that "causes disease in your fans," reminding her that "being popular among children brings with it an enormous responsibility." Meanwhile, Pepsi spokeswoman Andrea Foote reassured everyone that the softdrink maker is "committed to not direct our advertising to audiences comprised predominantly of children under twelve."
With around 45 million Twitter followers, Perry is among the top celebrity endorsers that Pepsi has hired throughout the years, including Beyonce Knowles, Britney Spears and the late King of Pop Michael Jackson.