Soft drink company PepsiCo has canceled plans to advertise in the night sky using a Russian startup's technology. The move is likely an attempt to avoid much backlash.
Satellite sky advertising
Futurism first reported on April 13 that PepsiCo's Russian subsidiary was in talks with a startup there called StartRocket that specializes in satellite sky advertising. The company was working on flying a set of small satellites that reflect sunlight to create advertising messages visible in the night sky.
Russian PepsiCo spokesperson Olga Mangova had confirmed the plans in an email to Futurism stating: “We believe in StartRocket potential. Orbital billboards are the revolution on the market of communications. That’s why on behalf of Adrenaline Rush — PepsiCo Russia energy non-alcoholic drink, which is brand innovator, and supports everything new, and non-standard — we agreed on this partnership.”
A troublesome plan
However, there are many issues with this plan including the fact that US federal law prohibits such advertising. Past attempts to take on such initiatives have also so far been met with significant criticism.
There is also the fact that it is unclear whether StartRocket has the funding or technology to implement such an ambitious plan. On its website the start-up founded but a year ago referred to a high-altitude balloon test to be carried out in April.
Regardless, whatever plans it has will now not include PepsiCo. "We can confirm StartRocket performed an exploratory test for stratosphere advertisements using the Adrenaline GameChangers logo," a company spokesperson from the US headquarters told SpaceNews on April 15.
"This was a one-time event; we have no further plans to test or commercially use this technology at this time."
The decision is likely a wise one. People will not take well to having their sky polluted with advertisements, and the move may result in negative brand awareness for PepsiCo.