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March 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s not on the air yet and therefore there are no ratings to indicate how many viewers will watch, but Pepsi-Cola is so confident that Simon Cowell’s The X Factor will become a hit that it has agreed to spend $60 million on it in its first season, the Los Angeles Times reported today (Thursday). In an interview with the newspaper, Massimo d’Amore, CEO of PepsiCo, Beverages Americas, acknowledged that the company erred when it allowed Coca-Cola to become the soft-drink sponsor of American Idol. “Our people, at the time, did not see how big American Idol was going to be. We lost a lot of momentum and the competition gained it,” he said. D’Amore also conceded that Pepsi’s Internet-focused campaign in recent years has failed to strike a chord with young viewers the way that its TV campaign featuring Michael Jackson did during the 1980s. “We would like to be with the big audiences to get our message across,” D’Amore said. Cowell suggested to the Times that other soft-drink companies — he did not indicate whether Coke was one of them — had also been vying for sponsorship. But he said that Pepsi was more aggressive than the others. “I like working with hungry people,” he remarked.