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ISTANBUL -- Turkish pop singer Tarkan, whose fan base extends well beyond his native country, is to join the ranks of Madonna, the Spice Girls, Michael Jackson, Ricky Martin, Britney Spears and Kylie Minogue as the latest star to endorse PepsiCo's drinks.

Tarkan Televetoglu is the first Turkish celebrity to sign a global deal with PepsiCo. Terms of the contract were not disclosed, although it is believed the spots will be shot outside Turkey.

"Tarkan is becoming a worldwide star very fast," said Nuri Suer, an executive at one of Pepsi's local roster agencies, Ajans Tek. "The Turkish pop singer is popular not only in Europe but also in countries such as the U.S., Russia, Mexico and Japan."

An official announcement is expected shortly to coincide with the release of Tarkan's new album, Mr. Suer said.

Commenting on the deal, Melih Sipahioglu, chairman of Pepsi's bottler, Istanbul-based Tamek Holding, said, "We are very proud that Pepsi's agreement with Tarkan is not a local but a worldwide deal."

Alice BBDO, Istanbul, an affiliate of Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide, is Pepsi's agency of record in Turkey.

A campaign is expected for the second half of March.

Copyright March 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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