Apr
16
2019

Pepsi drops plan to put up orbital target. Excuse me: ‘billboard.’

Yeah, that’s not gonna happen any time soon.

A major soft drink company says it will not pursue plans to advertise its products in space using a Russian startup, avoiding what likely would have been significant public criticism.

The publication Futurism reported April 13 that PepsiCo’s Russian subsidiary was working with a startup there called StartRocket to advertise an energy drink called “Adrenaline Rush” using satellites. The company has proposed flying a set of small satellites in formation, reflecting sunlight with Mylar sails to create logos or other advertising messages visible from the ground after sunset and before sunrise.

“Significant public criticism.” Gee. Ya think?

Glenn Reynolds described my reaction perfectly: “visceral dislike.” You got your light pollution. You got your space debris. You got your damn company logo hovering over the planet, and deep inside my monkey brain something’s gibbering about how it’s gonna fall down at any time and smash into Toledo*. Just ain’t worth it, man. There may be no such thing as negative advertising, but this thing would have destruction-tested that particular rule of thumb to a fare-thee-well.

You know who’s really disappointed, though? People designing anti-satellite weapons. They could have shot that thing up and taken no flak for it whatsoever. Shoot, I would have sent whoever did it a fruit basket. Maybe even with a cheese wheel. Because I have reflexive Views on this, apparently. I know, it’s as much a shock to me as anybody else.

Moe Lane

*Either one.

1 Comment

  • Luke says:

    Gillette: We alienated over half of the people who buy our products.
    PepsiCo: Hold my beer.

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