Kids love celebrities. Kids also love sweet treats. It’s a match made in marketing heaven, which is why soda and celebrity have gone hand-in-hand since Marilyn Monroe was sipping Coke in black-and-white.
In today’s health-conscious atmosphere, however, the star/soft drink marriage is drawing some serious ire from health organizations focused on tackling America’s obesity epidemic. The latest target of that ire is Pepsi-pushing pop star Katy Perry.
A group of seven health organizations, including the Center for Science in the Public Interest, will run an open letter to the starlet today in Variety, urging her not to “exploit [your] popularity by marketing a product that causes disease in your fans.”
The letter draws parallels between the ramifications of marketing soda to children and those of marketing cigarettes to children.
“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.”
The letter goes on to impress upon the star the weighty responsibility she has acquired along with her enormous fame and popularity among America’s youth:
“Kids love you, Katy Perry. You count many millions of teens and tweens among your ‘KatyKats.’ Their devotion to you has brought you incredible commercial success and wealth. But 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.”
That’s…well…pretty hard to ignore.
And CSPI isn’t stopping at shaming Katy Perry; the organization has also released a YouTube video called “The Sellouts,” which features decades of celebrities using their fame to sell soda (watch below). Even Marilyn Monroe makes the cut. There is one face suspiciously missing, though — America’s Coca-Cola-pushing sweetheart, Taylor Swift. We kind of wonder what’s up with the glaring omission; after all, they had time to feature Britney Spears three separate times…
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