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Visa, Sony Join Pepsi in Buying Time on Soviet Television

May 17, 1988

NEW YORK (AP) _ Visa, a credit card provider, and Sony Corp., the Japanese electronics giant, have joined Pepsi Cola as the first foreign companies to buy commercial time on Soviet television, it was announced today.

Visa and Sony each have purchased five 30-second commercials on a five-part program that features Soviet commentator Vladimir Pozner talking with Americans on a range of topics, according to Global American Television, a Massachusetts firm representing the Soviet broadcast agency.

Pepsi Cola International announced last week it had purchased five minutes of time on the program.

The show was to begin airing in five one-hour segments today and run through Saturday on one of the government’s main television channels.

The cost of the ad purchases were not disclosed.

Visa plans to air a commercial that calls attention to its sponsorship of the 1988 Olympic games and the planned introduction later this year of Visa cards through the Soviet tourist agency for Soviets who travel abroad, said spokesman David Brancoli.

He said the cost of the purchases was being shared equally by Visa U.S.A., based in San Francisco, and Visa Europe, based in London.

Global American said Sony has prepared three commercials.

Pepsi Cola plans six different commercials, including two one-minute spots that feature pop star Michael Jackson.

Each of the shows are expected to be seen by about 150 million people. the commercials will be shown in two one-minute breaks per show, according to Pam Roberts of Global American.

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