SLUMPING SODA SALES NO LAUGHING MATTER

7 UP Prepares New Comedian Commercials

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BOSTON (AdAge.com) -- Dr Pepper/Seven Up unveiled its newest spokesman, comedian and actor Godfrey, in a series of spots for 7 UP shown to bottlers at the company's annual conference in Dallas today.

The commercials continue the "Make 7 UP Yours" campaign, made popular by comedian Orlando Jones as a hapless marketer.

The seven

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new commercials break in January and feature Godfrey promoting the beverage in prison, on a beach and at a children's ice hockey game.

The ads, by WPP Group's Y&R Advertising, New York, will air during the Grammy Awards, MTV Movie Awards and on teen- and young-adult-oriented shows on network and cable TV.

Sales for 7 UP has suffered with the introduction of PepsiCo's Sierra Mist, additional marketing from competitors and the increased popularity of bottled waters, executives said.

The company, a division of Britain's Cadbury Schweppes, said it hopes growth will increase 2% next year, compared with a 2% drop in grocery and convenience store sales from January through Aug. 11, according to figures from Beverage Digest.

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