Hip Hop Organization Boycotting PEPSI Over OSBOURNES Ad

February 5, 2003

Angered at Pepsi for placing foul-mouthed Ozzy Osbourne in a Super Bowl commercial only months after yanking rapper Ludacris for his vulgar language, hip-hop icon Russell Simmons said Tuesday he will announce this weekend plans for a boycott against the soft drink giant, accusing Pepsi of applying a double standard.

"The Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN) plans to announce and detail a proposed boycott of Pepsi during the NBA All-Star Weekend in Atlanta," a spokeswoman for Simmons and the non-profit hip-hop group he helped found, said.

"The boycott is being called in response to Pepsi dropping Ludacris as spokesman and subsequently picking up the Osbournes, who are no less vulgar," she added.

The controversy regarding the Ludacris spot dates back to a few months ago when conservative commentator Bill O'Reilly pointed out that the rapper was foul-mouthed, accused Pepsi of being "immoral" and urged a boycott.

Pepsi caved in to the pressure, yanking its 30-second television spot, stating it had received several consumer complaints about Ludacris' sexually explicit, profanity-laden song lyrics.

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