Pepsi Confirms Relationship With Nicki Minaj But Denies New-Beverage Plans

Brand Calls Reports Singer Will Be Face of Soda Called Pop 'Inaccurate'

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Pepsi has deflated Pop.

The cola brand confirmed to Ad Age today that it has a relationship with hip-hop artist Nicki Minaj but denied there is a new beverage called Pop.

Minaj at 2011 Mercedes-Benz Fall/Winter Fashion Week in New York.
Minaj at 2011 Mercedes-Benz Fall/Winter Fashion Week in New York.

Pepsi had been mum for more than a week as rumors flew that Ms. Minaj would be "the face" of a new natural soda dubbed Pop. The rumors, prompted by a Forbes article, quickly spread around the globe. The article quoted an agency exec who is said to have brokered the deal between Pepsi and Ms. Minaj.

A Pepsi spokeswoman told Ad Age that characterizations of the rapper as the face of any new beverage were "inaccurate." According to the Forbes report, Ms. Minaj has filmed a Pepsi commercial in South America. The spokeswoman declined to comment on those reports or to elaborate on the brand's relationship with Ms. Minaj.

Pepsi has been working on its first global campaign, which is now expected to launch in the first half of this year. Massimo d'Amore, former head of PepsiCo's Global Beverage Group, told Ad Age last year that the brand was working with both BBDO, which handles Pepsi in international markets, and TBWA/Chiat/Day, which handles the brand in the U.S., on the campaign.

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