Red Stripe sticks by Champion Boy - Will not pull Premier League advertisement with Alkaline

February 20, 2017
Alkaline performing during Frenchbook Live at Mas Camp, St Andrew, in 2014.


Red Stripe is sticking with dancehall star Alkaline's Champion Boy radio advertising campaign for the alcoholic beverage company's Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) 2016-17 season, despite the artiste being held and questioned in a murder investigation.

Alkaline was released from police custody last Monday following a court order that the police either release or charge the deejay, who was being questioned in relation to an ongoing murder investigation.


Police custody


Bartley, who spent four days in police custody, was not charged. He had turned himself over to the lawmen the previous Thursday for questioning in relation to last month's murder of Rohan Morris in Maverley, St Andrew.

Stacy-Ann Smith, Red Stripe's communication and public relations manager, says the company is committed to the agreement with the deejay at this time.

"As far as we know, Alkaline has not been charged. He remains innocent until proven guilty," Smith told THE STAR when contacted last weekend. She also said Red Stripe has decided not to contact the deejay, whose real name is Earlan Bartley, about the investigation by the police.


Mass appeal


Smith said Alkaline was selected for the nation's elite football league ad campaign because "the artiste is a hugely popular entertainer with a mass appeal, (and) the feedback has been positive so far."

The project was done in collaboration with DJ Sunshine of Irie FM. Alkaline's lyrics for his popular song Champion Boy, on the dancehall rhyth Fire Starta were rearranged for the football competition. The campaign was launched in September to coincide with the 2016-2017 RSPL season and has since gained traction. Twelve teams are competing for the title of 'RSPL Champion'.

Incorporating popular artistes and music in advertising campaigns has been a long-held tradition of the Jamaican brew. Red Stripe featured a full-length song in a commercial in its 1972 Life is Just For Living campaign with singer Ernie Smith.

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