The buy, handled by BBDO New York, calls for Pepsi to become entitlement sponsor of The A-List for the next year, the show's new name being Pepsi's A-List.
Starting today, Pepsi will run a special open to the show, run bumpers opening and closing each program segment between commercial breaks and get mention in all on-air promotion for the half-hour comedy show hosted separately by Richard Lewis and Sandra Bernhard.
Pepsi heretofore has only made upfront deals with MTV (which includes some placement on VH-1) and ESPN, said Stu Shlossman, senior vp at BBDO, though it has bought some cable scatter elsewhere.
"It's a major addition" to Pepsi's cable schedule, said Shlossman. He added that Pepsi has a pretty broad reach already, so for a cable network to get on the buy, "they need to bring something to the party. It's got to be something unique. This is the right audience, the right environment."
Comedy Central's vp/ad sales Joe Poletto said this is probably the biggest deal Comedy Central has signed in the drinks category. "Obviously, Pepsi is very selective in cable networks," said Poletto, adding he's excited to find Comedy Central in the same company as ESPN and MTV.
"There is no other appropriate network"to do this kind of sponsorship, said BBDO's Shlossman. "There are programs that are appropriate, but not networks."
Separately, Coca-Cola Co. has signed a deal with MTV Music Television's Asia affiliate to single-sponsor the net's MTV Movie Awards there on June 26 and 27.
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