Britney bounced out by Beyoncé
Less than two years after she became the £75m face of Pepsi, Britney Spears has been supplanted by a rival pop diva.
PepsiCo last night named Destiny's Child star Beyoncé Knowles as the new star of its advertising and said it had «no plans» to renew Spears' contract, which runs out this year.
«We are really looking to take the work in a different direction,» said a spokesman, adding that Knowles would help Pepsi reach consumers with a wider range of «racial, cultural and ethnic backgrounds».
Dave Burwick, the chief marketing officer of Pepsi-Cola North America, said Knowles was «a multitalented entertainer who has achieved tremendous success and popularity in both music and movies».
Knowles, whose film credits include Austin Powers in Goldmember and the upcoming The Fighting Temptations, has signed up to star in two TV commercials for Pepsi as well as radio and internet advertising.
The soft drinks giant may also sponsor her 2003 solo concert tour, although it refused to say how much she would be paid.
Spears signed up as the face of Pepsi in February 2001. She was estimated to have earned £63,000 per second to promote Pepsi during the commercial breaks of this year's Superbowl, the most watched event on US TV, which ended with her performance of an anthem entitled The Joy of Pepsi .
But earlier this year she was photographed sipping a bottle of rival brand Coca-Cola on a boat trip in Sydney, while her career has flagged in recent months.
Coca-Cola is also planning a new advertising campaign, which will feature celebrities and focus on the «real» qualities of Classic Coke.
On January 26, 2004, the premiere of Pepsi's Gladiator commercial took place in London. The ad was filmed at the Coliseum in Rome and featured Britney Spears, Beyoncé and Pink as gladiators who perform a new version of Queen's classic We Will Rock You.