Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Rabbinical Court Threatens Pepsi’s Premiere in Israel

May 18, 1992
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Pepsi Cola’s ad campaign hit the wrong spot with an ultra-Orthodox court, threatening the soft-drink company with loss of its kashrut certificate on the eve of its Israeli premiere.

The advertisement, headlined “10 million years of evolution led to this,” featured a row of creatures, from an ape to a cave man to a modern athlete holding a can of the American soft drink, which had been licensed to the local Tempo beverage company.

The Eda Haredi rabbinical court, which had granted the kashrut certificate, denounced the ad and threatened to revoke the certificate and excommunicate the company. The Eda Haredi, which believes in the biblical version of creation, called the Darwinian ad an “abomination,” “blasphemy” and “catastrophe.”

Avraham Bornstein, owner of Tempo and himself Orthodox, quickly apologized and said he would withdraw the ads. But it was too late to pull them from the weekend papers, which had already been printed.

For the Gitan advertising agency, which created the ad, there was one piece of good news: Pepsi headquarters in the United States expressed interest in the Israeli-made ad, Israel radio reported.

Recommended from JTA