7UP smacks down wrestling ads

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Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Plano, Texas, pulled 7UP advertising from UPN's "WWF Smackdown!" following similar actions by Coca-Cola Co. and WorldCom. "We didn't think 'Smackdown!' was an appropriate venue from the standpoint of sexual innuendo, unacceptable language and extreme violence," said a spokeswoman for the soft-drink marketer. While the company apparently believed the program was appropriate for the brand up until now, executives have had a change of heart. "It just got worse," said the spokeswoman, who noted the 7UP originally advertised in "Smackdown!" because it hit the teen market and had very high ratings. However, "the incidence of all these things increased," she added. The spokeswoman didn't believe the company includes any morality clauses in its media agreements, planned and bought through lead agency Y&R Advertising, New York.

Copyright July 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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