Pepsico Drops Jackson Sponsored Tours For Singer Since '84

Posted: November 15, 1993

NEW YORK — PepsiCo Inc. ended its record-setting, nine-year sponsorship of Michael Jackson after the pop superstar canceled his world tour, a spokesman for the soft-drink giant said yesterday.

Spokesman Gary Hemphill yesterday said the company had been scheduled to end the sponsorship deal once the tour was completed, "so we no longer have a relationship."

PepsiCo's sponsorship of Jackson dates back to 1984 when it supported "The Victory Tour," which reunited the singer with his brothers from the former Jackson Five. Pepsi also sponsored Jackson's "Bad" tour in 1988.

When PepsiCo announced the sponsorship of Jackson's latest tour in 1992, it called the deal the biggest sponsorship between a company and an entertainer. It released no figures, but industry analysts put the value of the deal at $7 million to $10 million.

Meanwhile in Britain, Jackson was the target of many a tabloid.

"Jacko: You can't hide!," headlined the Sunday Mirror.

But superstar Michael Jackson appeared to be winning his hide-and-seek game with the world's media yesterday.

Jackson dropped out of sight on Friday after announcing he was cutting short his "Dangerous" world concert tour to get treatment for an addiction to painkillers.

News reports said he had left Mexico City for London and, possibly, Switzerland, where his friend, actress Elizabeth Taylor, owns a chalet.

But there were no sightings of the elusive singer or his entourage.

Photographers and camera crews staked out the exclusive Charter Clinic in London's upmarket Chelsea district for a second day yesterday. But the clinic, which provides drug rehabilitation treatment and guarantees privacy, refused to say whether the star was there.

"I cannot confirm or deny that Michael Jackson is here," duty manager Jane Pitcaithly said.

In a recorded message, Jackson said his painkiller addiction had been caused by anguish over the investigation into a 13-year-old boy's claims that Jackson had molested him. The allegations are being investigated by Los Angeles police.

Jackson spokesmen have said the abuse claims emerged after Jackson rejected a $20 million extortion attempt by the teen-ager's father.

The pop superstar was to have performed yesterday in San Juan, Puerto Rico, his first appearance on U.S. soil since the molestation investigation began.

Jackson lawyer Bertram Fields scheduled a news conference today in Los Angeles.

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