PepsiCo has dropped Gareth Gates, the singer made famous by the POp Idols TV show as the face of its brand. Gates had signed a £750,000 advertising deal with the soft drinks producer for its flagship brand just seven months ago.

The company confirmed, though, that it had decided not to extend the singers on-year deal when it runs out in March next year.

A spokesman for Pepsi was quoted this week as saying: "We are always hopeful people will become superstars. But in the same way as our deal with Roy Keane ran its course, Gareth has done his job and he's been great. The partnership will come to a natural conclusion and we wish him all the best for the future."