Beyoncé Knowles recently signed a $50 million endorsement deal as the brand ambassador for PepsiCo. Although this may seem like a great business deal for both parties, some health advocates are urging Knowles to reconsider her campaign collaboration with the soft drink industry.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Center for Science in the Public Interest wrote a letter to the pop star, asking that she not associate herself with a product that contributes to childhood obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
“Your image is one of success, health, talent, fitness and glamour. By lending your name and image to PepsiCo, you are associating your positive attributes with a product that is quite literally sickening Americans,” wrote Michael Jacobson, CSPI’s executive director.
He continued: “I imagine that it must be hard for anyone to turn away $50 million. But this endorsement deal strikes me as particularly inappropriate, considering your popularity with America’s young people and the extent to which Pepsi and other sugar drinks promote disease.”
Jacobson suggested that Knowles consider donating her proceeds to a hospital, diabetes organization, or another reputable charity involved in the prevention or treatment of soda-related diseases.
Knowles’ 10-year endorsement deal with PepsiCo includes new music, video content, ad campaigns and the NFL Super Bowl halftime show, which is sponsored by the brand.
Despite the controversy, the 31-year-old has done work to promote fitness and fight obesity. Last year, she teamed up with First Lady Michelle Obama’s ‘Let’s Move’ campaign and made a remixed, exercise version of her hit “Get Me Bodied.” She said the First Lady deserved credit for tackling the issue directly and that she was “excited to be part of this effort that addresses a public health crisis.“