Why Diet Pepsi Just Got Dragged Into Rudy Giuliani's Latest Scandal

According to Statista, Diet Pepsi has seen a gradual falling-off in its popularity in the U.S. going back at least as far as 2004. To wit, Diet Pepsi's U.S. market share was around 6% that year, but since then, it has gradually dwindled to less than 4%. This could be seen as a particularly unfortunate state of affairs for the soda brand, given that in 2005, Pepsi announced its plan to rely on Diet Pepsi as its "flagship" brand, per the Wall Street Journal. Nor can it be said to reflect any sort of general trend in the popularity of sugar-free soft drinks; said popularity has, in fact, increased steadily and is projected to continue on an upward trajectory through 2025, per Grandview Research.

The fact that Pepsi hasn't yet abandoned the word "diet" when marketing its OG sugar-free soda may play some role in alienating purchasers who would appear to prefer the sound of the less-fraught term "zero sugar." But now it would appear Pepsi is poised to face a new challenge. This one has nothing to do with the brand's marketing team, but rather comes in the form of an unpaid-for, presumably un-asked-for endorsement by one rather polarizing individual: former New York City mayor-turned-Trump affiliate, Rudy Giuliani

Yes, it would appear that Diet Pepsi has a new, albeit unofficial, spokesperson in Giuliani. Here's how the soda got dragged into Giuliani's latest scandal.

Rudy Giuliani has seemingly endorsed Diet Pepsi

Rudy Giuliani rode out the end of his second New York City mayoral term as a folk hero, thanks, in part, to his inspirational words in the wake of September 11, 2001 (via NY1 News). However, his presidential aspirations tanked during the 2008 Republican primaries. Then, in 2016, he attached himself to the Trump campaign, a move that might have improved his optics — except that it didn't, per Politico, which speculated as to whether Giuliani was full-on "losing his mind" by September of that year. 

Giuliani's downward spiral seemed to peak in the wake of the January 6 Capitol insurrection over the results of the 2020 presidential election, when he allegedly called for a "trial by combat," NY1 notes. But Giuliani wasn't done just yet. On Tuesday, June 14, he took to Twitter to rage against allegations made by members of Trump's campaign team that Giuliani was drunk on Election Night when he apparently began pushing Trump and his supporters toward falsely declaring victory, via HuffPost. In the tweet, which was rife with typos and has since been deleted, Giuliani claims he "REFUSED all alcohol that evening," reaching, instead, for his "favorite drink ... Diet Pepsi." 

So, how does Pepsi feel about its seminal diet cola getting name-checked in connection with the January 6 controversy? We'll let you know if and when Pepsi responds to Giuliani's surprise endorsement. In case you're wondering, here's what Giuliani really eats.