March 11: Beverages major PepsiCo, which has recently kicked off its new advertising campaign for the ensuing summer, has dumped Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra as its brand ambassador.
According to industry sources, instead of renewing the contract with the former Miss World, which expired a few months back, PepsiCo has decided not to renew it.
Chopra, who was signed in 2005 for two years, has been replaced by model-turned actor Deepika Padukone. Priyanka had featured in a television commercial with Kareena Kapoor, which was directed by Farah Khan.
When contacted Pepsi officials refused to comment on the matter. However, PepsiCo India, Executive Vice-President, Marketing (Cola), Sandeep Singh Arora had said, "From time to time we review the list of stars and depending on situation and who we think is right, we pick and choose."
As a part of the strategy to position Pepsi as a youth brand, the company had recently kicked off its new campaign for 2008, 'Yeh hai youngistaan meri jaan' featuring Deepika Shah Rukh Khan and Ranbir Kapoor.
The new commercial is to be followed by ads across radio, outdoor, web and wireless, besides a series of events during the year, which could even include India's cricketing young guns led by M S Dhoni.
Beyond Bollywood, Pepsi's has been intensifying focus on young cricketers by roping in youngsters Ishant Sharma and Rohit Sharma and dropping ex-Indian captains Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid as ambassadors.
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