Pepsi has struck a deal with Michael Jackson’s estate to put images of the singer on 1 billion of its cans. There are many questionable things about this deal—the suspected child abuser is dead, after all—but perhaps the worst is that the can will remind everyone of what Pepsi did to Jackson in 1984.That year, Jackson had a record $5 million deal with the beverage company. On a commercial shoot for the brand, helmed by BBDO, staged pyrotechnics set Jackson’s hair on fire. (see video below).
The burns he suffered required he take painkillers, and Jackson was never free from his addiction to prescription drugs for the rest of his life. He died after his personal doctor injected him with propofol, an anesthetic.
Put simply, you can draw an historic line through Jackson’s previous deal with Pepsi to his death in 2009.
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