Which? tackles football stars over PepsiWe want them to promote healthy products

31 March 2008

David Beckham

Which? is asking some of the world’s top footballers to reconsider their support of a new website from soft drinks giant Pepsi.

The Pepsiyouniverse site is a social networking website claiming to list celebrities' interests.

Pepsi is set to promote it with a major advertising campaign featuring footballers including England stars David Beckham and Frank Lampard, as well as Arsenal midefielder Cesc Fabregas.

But Which? is concerned that sporting stars idolised by children are promoting a soft drink packed with sugar. We've now written to Beckham, Lampard and Fabregas asking them to think again about which products they endorse.

Role models

Which? food campaigner Miranda Watson said: ‘As international footballers, they are a role model for millions of children in a position to be a positive influence on their lives by encouraging exercise and a healthy lifestyle.

‘It is therefore extremely disappointing that they have chosen to promote Pepsi since a 330ml can of Pepsi contains the equivalent of nine teaspoons of sugar.’

It follows our research which shows that more than three in four parents think celebrities should take more responsibility for the foods that they promote to children.

Childhood obesity

Our Kids’ Food campaign calls for an end to irresponsible marketing of unhealthy food to children and this call is supported by a large number of individuals and organisations.

Ms Watson added: ‘We believe that the promotion of unhealthy products undermines other activities aimed at curbing the increase in childhood obesity in the UK and abroad.

‘We would like to see footballers use their influence to help parents in their efforts to encourage their children to consume a healthy diet by committing to promote only healthy foods and drinks.’