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May 24, 2005 - 12:45 PM

Arrowhead's Water Boy

by Carmen Balber
An eagle-eyed ArnoldWatch tipster discovered some subliminal messaging in the Gov's latest TV ad blitz. Well, he didn't need 20-20 vision to catch this one.

The ad features Arnold in a lunchroom talking to a table-full of attentive Californians. Pepsi-Cola, Arrowhead Water and Dr. Pepper are given prominent placement next to the Gov. -- for 1/3 of the 30-second ad. If you've ever eaten a snack chip, you'll likely recognize Ruffles, Sun Chips and Cheetos in the background. And a SoBe Beverage makes a cameo appearance.

Pepsi-Cola (which just happens to own SoBe, Sun Chips, Ruffles and Cheetos) has given the Gov's campaign committees $30,000. Joe Weller, Chairman & CEO of Arrowhead's parent company, Nestle USA, gave the maximum $21,200 to Arnold's re-election committee.

We've all read reports of the advance teams that precede Arnold everywhere he goes, and make sure everything from the Boeing jet to the American flag-waving baby are in the correct position. Would California's king of celluloid let an inch of screen or a second of a shot be wasted? If there's product placement in an Arnold ad, it's planned.

ArnoldWatch has already taken the Gov to task for guest appearances he seems to make at the behest of donors (Click here and here to see past weblogs) Even if Arnold thinks its okay to "sell" California, he shouldn't sell Californians out by using his office to hawk junk food or even bottled water. Campaign donors are not supposed to get anything in return, right? Well, Arrowhead's waterboy should come clean about these product placements and stop the marketing madness. A Governor who says he wants to get junk foods out of the schools should be willing to take them out of his political ads.

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