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Madonna’s banned advert – Ad Breakdown from BBC

THE ADVERT: Madonna, singing Like a Prayer for Pepsi in 1989

THE SCHTICK: The cola wars in full swing, Pepsi wheeled out its big gun – the Queen of Pop – to perform her latest single

THE BREAKDOWN: It was, the TV voiceover promised us, not to be missed. The Material Girl was to put the fizz into Pepsi’s campaign – for a fee of $5m.

The premiere of Madonna’s Like A Prayer in a two-minute advert was notable enough to be reported on ITN’s News At Ten, and ITV ran trailers advertising when it would be shown – 8.12pm on Thursday 2 March, 1989.

But within 48 hours of the much-hyped worldwide premiere, the company pulled the ad, and it was never screened again.

This was because influential church groups in the United States had threatened a mass boycott of Pepsi products, troubled by the Catholic-born star’s ongoing flirtation with religious imagery.

The ad starts with Madonna watching black-and-white footage supposedly of her own eighth birthday party.

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