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Pepsi Pulls Kendall Jenner Ad After Heavy Online Criticism

April 5, 2017 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Kendall Jenner Pepsi

Pepsi has pulled an ad campaign featuring Kendall Jenner after it received intense criticism online. The company said on Wednesday that it was pulling the “short film” in which the Kardashian family member is in the middle of a protest of indeterminate cause going on. Invited to participate via a head-nod from one of the activists, she walks off the shoot and starts walking along with the protesters. Grabbing a Pepsi along the way, she walks to the front of the oddly-cheerful demonstration and comes face to face with a group of police and hands one of them the Pepsi, which the protestors take as cause for celebration.

The ad was roundly criticized from many different corners online and in the ad industry; many accused the ad of trivializing legitimate protests and co-opting the image of Black Lives Matter protester Ieshia Evans, while others found it crass that Pepsi would imply that issues as complex as the social unrest going on in the nation could be handled so simply. Still others objected to the idea of Pepsi using the issues as a way to make a buck.

“Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding,” the company said in a statement on Wednesday. “Clearly, we missed the mark, and we apologize. We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are pulling the content and halting any further rollout. We also apologize for putting Kendall Jenner in this position.”

Pepsi isn’t the first global brand to use protest movements and grassroots movements in their advertising, of course; competitor Coca-Cola’s “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing” ad became an icon of advertising for its use of the hippy and anti-Vietnam movement.

Jenner has not publicly commented on the outcry over the ad. While Pepsi has pulled the ad off YouTube, several channels uploaded the video before that happened and you can see it below:

article topics :

Kendall Jenner, Pepsi, Jeremy Thomas