Pepsi launches weekly music show in Middle East

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DUBAI--Pepsi Cola International today launches with the Middle East Broadcasting Center a weekly music show aimed at the youth market, the region's largest consumer group.

Pepsi Muzica will feature some of the hottest Arab music stars in the Middle East and North Africa, along with music videos and a "top 20" chart. Pepsi and MBC are splitting the show's production costs -- a hefty, but undisclosed sum, according to Pepsi spokeswoman Fiona Hill.

"Pepsi is delivering on its `Ask for More' selling line, by providing teens with more music and more exclusive, unique and modern programs such as Pepsi Muzica," says Ms. Hill in an e-mail interview.

Gathering a live audience and filming at a Beirut night spot, the Pepsi Muzica shows will last through April 2000. The contract is subject to renewal, Pepsi says. Besides selling its name through the show's title, Pepsi will also plug its products in three 30-second spots before, during and after the show. Opening and closing credits are also Pepsi branded.

For Pepsi, which says it has a 70% market share in the region, Pepsi Muzica will sell the company's image to teens of both sexes. For MBC, the show is aimed at attracting a younger audience to the satellite channel's entertainment programs.

Copyright June 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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