The broadcasters say it is 'no longer appropriate' for the soft drinks giant to be mentioned during their radio and television shows...

The BBC is to drop controversial on-air mentions of music chart sponsor COCA COLA from its radio and television broadcasts, saying it is ‘no longer appropriate’.

The corporation has previously been criticised over the sponsorship deal which would have seen the soft drinks giant name-checked during Radio 1’s Top 40 countdown and BBC1’s Top Of The Pops.

Radio 1 controller Andy Parfitt said: “The original deal with the Official UK Charts Company that agreed on-air mentions of chart sponsors was done four years ago. The broadcast market has moved on considerably since then.”

He added: “Taking this into account, and recent events, we no longer feel it is appropriate to allow on-air mentions of sponsors of the chart.”

It was announced a month ago that Coca Cola had signed a multi-million pound two-year contract with the Official UK Charts Company to sponsor the singles and album lists.

According to BBC News, Parfitt said that the BBC is now working with the Official UK Charts Company to resolve the situation without breaking any contractual obligations.

The BBC have also said that it has “no plans” to stop broadcasting the charts, “provided the current issues can be resolved.”

As previously reported on NME.COM, Coca Cola are set to launch their own UK music-download service this year, which they claim will feature the largest available catalogue of songs online.

The service will offer a legal alternative to file-sharing and boast 250,000 available tracks from over 8,500 artists.

The site,, is due to launch this month and will also mark the first high-profile brand to become involved directly in the music business.

The service will face market opposition from the now legal Napster and Apple’s iTunes. The service has currently sold 17 million tracks to US customers, despite being just seven months old.