Is the New York Times Shilling for Pepsi?!

Just getting to this article in the New York Times about Pepsi’s “non-traditional” launch of their latest soda, Tava.

What makes this release so unique, you ask?  Well, for starters, there are no TV ads!  Wow!  And they’re using the internet!  Breakthrough!  Alert the presses!Pardon the sarcasm, but this is a very long article that reads like one big ad for Tava.  

What else has the clearly revolutionary shop of Tribal DDB Worldwide, the interactive unit of DDB Worldwide, part of the Omnicom Group, come up with?  Why, they’re giving out free samples at Sundance!  

The only remotely newsworthy part of this story is a quote from Pepsi:

That would not be an unusual introduction if Tava were intended for the younger consumers who have grown up in a digital world. But the product, which is fruit-flavored and caffeine-free, is being aimed primarily at men and women ages 35 to 49.  “There used to be an assumption this target was not online,” said Frank Cooper, vice president for flavored carbonated soft drinks at Pepsi-Cola North America in Purchase, N.Y. “But there’s a group in that category that’s ‘reborn digital.’ They’ve lived through the change and learned to adapt to it.”

This much is true.  The part that totally confirms that Stuart Elliott  is either being paid by Pepsi for this work or is simply an idiot is when he reviews the Tava.com website:

The content of tava.com goes beyond pitches for the product, including downloadable songs from emerging musicians like Deccatree, a rock band from California, and Stephanie McKay, a singer from New York. It also features the work of artists like Amy Guip, an illustrator and photographer, and carries information about arts events like the Boston Arts Festival, the Chicago Jazz Festival and Shakespeare in the Park at Central Park.”Seriously?  I dare you to go to the site and come back here and leave an honest comment regarding any way in which Tava.com “goes beyond pitches for the product.”

Shame on you NYT.  This is a terrible article that does nothing for the reader and plenty for Pepsi. 

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