Pepsi Pulls Kendall Jenner Ad in Response to Widespread Criticism
Pepsi pulled their ad featuring Kendall Jenner after the company was accused of appropriating a nationwide protest movement associated with police violence against African Americans.
The company issued the following statement on Wednesday (Apr. 5, 2017):
“Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding. Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologize. We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are removing the content and halting any further rollout. We also apologize for putting Kendall Jenner in this position.”
The commercial featured Jenner and sparkly young millennials protesting with nonspecific messages like “Join the conversation.” They are happy, and so is Jenner when she hands a police officer a can of Pepsi. When the officer takes a sip of the soft drink, the entire crowd cheers even louder and the officer breaks a smile.
Many social media critics claimed that the ad minimized the fear that some individuals feel when they encounter law enforcement agents in real protest settings.
Pepsi released a statement of a different tune earlier on Tuesday. “This is a global ad that reflects people from different walks of life coming together in a spirit of harmony, and we think that’s an important message to convey,” the company asserted.
Watch the clip at the top of the page.