7UP To Pull TV Ad Under Pressure From Human Rights Groups, GroceryNetwork.com, May 24, 2002.
LOS ANGELES - Dr. Pepper/Seven Up Inc. has said it will stop airing a
national television commercial called "Captive Audience" that human rights
groups say makes light of rape in prison.
The commercial, created by Young & Rubicam, aired during youth-oriented
programming on MTV, UPN, FOX, and the WB. In the ad, a 7UP spokesperson
hands out cans of 7UP to prisoners. When he accidentally drops a can, he
quips that he won't pick it up, implying that he would risk being raped if
he were to bend down. Later in the ad, a cell door slams, trapping the
spokesperson on a bed with another man who refuses to take his arm from
Lara Stemple, executive director of Stop Prisoner Rape (SPR), a nonprofit
human rights organization, said Philippa Dworkin, vice president of
corporate communications for Dr. Pepper/Seven Up Inc., told her the ad
would be taken off the air in response to the protest.
"This commercial was perpetuating the kind of callousness that allows
sexual abuse to continue in so many prisons virtually unchecked," said
Stemple. "We're very glad to hear that 7UP has decided to stop sending out
the message that it's okay to laugh about rape when it involves people in
prison. No corporation would make jokes about rape outside of the prison
"We really have listened to them. Their points are very valid and we are
with them on human rights," Dworkin told a CNSNEWS.com reporter this week,
before the company made the final decision to stop airing the commercial.
"Nearly 100 organizations spoke out to say that prisoner rape is a
horrific human rights abuse that must be taken seriously," said Stemple,
"and we're happy 7UP has listened."