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Did Coke Force American Idol to Drop Bottle Campaign?

A sponsor of American Idol, rumored to be Coca-Cola, has forced the TV talent show to drop a public service announcement that features show contestants urging Americans to limit their consumption of single-use plastic containers.

The announcement was put together by the Plastic Pollution Coalition – a consortium of nonprofits, actors and politicians – and features all 11 of the 2010 American Idol finalists, Forbes reports.

Subsequently, one of the show’s sponsors demanded the announcement, and any association with American Idol within it, be dropped.

Plastic Pollution Coalition executive director Daniella Russo told Forbes that when asked if that sponsor was Coke, representatives of American Idol replied: “You didn’t hear it from us.”

Russo also said that prior to the public service announcement launch, PPC was warned that the segment could not run until after the culmination of the American Idol concert tour “because Coca-Cola was a sponsor and might get upset.”

This is not the first time that the drinks giant has been embroiled in suggestions that it used its financial clout to block plans aimed at slowing bottle sales. Earlier this month, the New York Times reported that National Parks top brass canceled plans to halt the sale of disposable water bottles in the Grand Canyon after discussions with Coca-Cola, a major donor to the National Parks Foundation.

Last week, the company announced a pledge to recycle all clear plastic PET bottles used at the London 2012 Olympics. Coke will recycle its own bottles as well as those of other companies.

In other news, Coke also recently announced plans to replace PVC labels on its bottles in China with greener materials, China CSR reports.

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