How Michael Jackson legitimized pop star ads

06/29/2009 | Wall Street Journal, The

Before Michael Jackson's incendiary 1984 campaign for Pepsi, many pop stars shunned advertising for fear that they would be tagged as a "sell out." Jackson's work for Pepsi, including a customized version of his hit "Billie Jean," removed the stigma attached to product endorsement, setting the stage for Madonna, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan and others to lend their names and music to TV commercials.

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