PEPSI-COLA CLAIMS IT IS FIRST TO BUY ADS ON SOVIET TV

PEPSI-COLA CLAIMS IT IS FIRST TO BUY ADS ON SOVIET TV

Pepsi-Cola has become the first advertiser to buy commercial time on Soviet television, the soft drink maker said.

Pepsi-Cola International, a Somers, N.Y.-based unit of Pepsico Inc., said Wednesday that it purchased five minutes of commercial time on a five-part program to be broadcast May 17-21 on the Soviet Union's main television channel.Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the U.S. company that represented the Soviet broadcast agency Gosteleradio in the sale had said previously that the going rate was $10,000 for a 30-second ad.

Pepsi has been selling soft drinks in the Soviet Union since 1974, and it currently has 20 bottlers there.

As Pepsi was making its announcement in New York, Italian businessman Silvio Berlusconi told reporters in Rome that a subsidiary of his Fininvest Group had won rights to transmit Western advertisements on Soviet television.

The three-year contract between the ad agency Pubitalia '80 SpA and the Soviet state broadcast company was signed April 29 and begins Sept. 1, he said.