Mountain Dew Ad Featuring Grant Hill Pulled After Controversy

Mountain Dew has pulled an ad featuring Grant Hill after it reportedly rubbed a few CBS, Turner and Coca-Cola execs the wrong way, Sports Business Daily reports.

According to the sports media outlet, the companies were not too pleased at the ad for PepsiCo Inc.’s Mountain Dew because it shows Hill, who is one of the leading March Madness analysts on the CBS/Turner network, taking shots at the NCAA’s trademarks regarding March Madness. The ad also faced criticism because it depicting Hill as sponsoring a product that has no ties to the NCAA Tournament.

Rival beverage brand, Coca-Cola, has been a longtime sponsor of the NCAA. Sine the early 2000s, the brand had owned the soda portion of categories and has spent roughly $30 million per year for those marketing rights.

In the campaign, Hill is seen sitting at a news desk reporting on Mountain Dew’s “Beat the Buzzer” promotion, which gives away branded gear every hour.

The brand has no NCAA rights, but still managed to land an endorsement deal with Hill, and as a result, it created an association with college basketball and the tournament.

In the spot, whenever Hill says, “Sweet 16″ March Madness” or any other terms associated with the tournament, a buzzer sounds and an off-camera voice says, “Can’t say that, Grant. Lawyers won’t let us.”

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Each buzz shows a Mountain Dew logo across Hill’s mouth.

Well it appears as if the problem has been solved.


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