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Ad pioneer Edward Boyd dead at 92

May 5, 2007 at 10:31 AM   |   Comments

LOS ANGELES, May 5 (UPI) -- Advertising pioneer Edward F. Boyd, who broke color barriers by featuring African-Americans in Pepsi-Cola ads, has died in Los Angeles at age 92.

Boyd died Monday from complications of a stroke he suffered in March, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

Boyd received national attention this year with the release of the book "The Real Pepsi Challenge: The Inspirational Story of Breaking the Color Barrier in American Business," by Stephanie Capparell, an editor at the Wall Street Journal, the Times said.

Boyd was responsible for the groundbreaking ad in 1947 featuring a 7-year-old African-American boy reaching up for a bottle of Pepsi held by his mother.

"Jackie Robinson may have made more headlines, but what Ed did -- integrating the managerial ranks of corporate America -- was equally groundbreaking," said Donald M. Kendall, retired chairman and chief executive officer of PepsiCo.

Pepsi hired Boyd, an African-American himself, at a time when businesses mostly ignored black consumers or used insulting images of them, Kendall said.

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