Wednesday, August 28, 2013

  • Wednesday, August 28, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
Adam Kredo at the Washington Free Beacon has followed up on my scoops from this year and last about how Pepsi's Gaza bottler is using the Pepsi name and logo to sponsor Hamas-approved soccer games and to make anti-Israel political statements in Pepsi's name.

Excerpts:
A controversy is brewing in the Gaza Strip over the Pepsi Company’s controversial ties to Palestinian sports teams and a stadium that likely doubled as a launching pad for terrorist rockets.

...Bottling company Yazegi told the Washington Free Beacon that PepsiCo has no problem with its sponsorship of Al Yarmouk and the Beit Lahiya stadium where Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has been seen playing soccer with Pepsi-backed players.

...While Yazegi claims that it holds no political views, the group has written about the so-called “Israeli occupation” on its Facebook page.

In a July 13 post on its Facebook page, Yazegi discussed the Pepsi advertisements displayed at Yarmouk, which was recently rebuilt by Hamas after Israeli airstrikes caused widespread damage.

“With this creative manner from the advertisement department in PepsiCo, the company was able to defy the Israeli occupation by embellishing the field which the occupation had destroyed with beautifully placed Pepsi advertisements on all sides of Al Yarmouk playground,” Yazegi wrote, according to a translation of the post.

PepsiCo spokesman Jeff Dahncke said Yazegi is given latitude in its promotional activities.

“PepsiCo does not sponsor any soccer teams in Gaza,” Dahncke told the Free Beacon when asked about Hamas’ Haniyeh playing soccer with players sporting a Pepsi logo.

“The photos depict a soccer league involving local community teams, and the local independent bottler producing Pepsi has a relationship with the league that allows for promotional activities to take place at the soccer venues,” Dahncke said. “Soccer is a global marketing platform for Pepsi and the brand is associated with the sport around the world.”

When asked if Pepsi objected to the use of its logo in a stadium where official Hamas activities are taking place, Dahncke did not respond.

Middle East experts and some on Capitol Hill have questioned Pepsi’s hands-off approach, warning that even the perception of sponsorship and use of the soda company’s logo harms its reputation.

“This is really outrageous,” said one senior Senate aide. “Pepsi should take immediate steps to disavow any further connection with Hamas.

“Can you imagine the next Coke-Pepsi challenge?” the source asked. “Hmmm, that one tastes like terror rocket fumes so that must be the Pepsi.”

Jonathan Schanzer, a former terrorism finance analyst at the U.S. Treasury Department, said, “It sounds like Pepsi needs to clarify its relationship with the local Gaza bottler.”

A senior House GOP aide also expressed alarm.

“The fact that the Pepsi logo is at this facility is clearly concerning,” said the aide.
Read the whole thing.



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