Pepsi pulls widely mocked ad featuring Kendall Jenner

Share

"Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding", the company said in a statement posted to Twitter on Wednesday.

Not only is the ad uncharacteristic of Pepsi, but Twitter users took to the social media site to express their disdain for the company for capitalizing on a sensitive national issue to sell soda.

Many pointed out that the sight of Jenner approaching police officers echoed a widely-circulated image of Ieshia Evans, who stood still in front of police officers during a rally in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in July a year ago.

Pepsi announced Wednesday that it's pulling its new TV ad depicting reality star Kendall Jenner leaving a modeling shoot to join a protest march after criticism that it was tone deaf.

After pumping up the excitement for her new role as a Pepsi spokesperson, the model unveiled her debut ad on Tuesday and quickly became the target of backlash, as did the soda company.

Critics say the image of Jenner handing the officer a Pepsi evoked a photo of Black Lives Matter protester Ieshia Evans approaching an officer at a demonstration in Baton Rouge a year ago. "No matter the occasion, big or small, these are the moments that make us feel alive".

Pepsi also apologized to Jenner herself for putting her "in this position".

In the short video, Miss Jenner, wearing a blonde wig and posing for the cameras, is caught up in the midst of a demonstration when she throws off the wig, grabs a can of Pepsi and hands it to a grim-faced police officer, who accepts it and smiles, to the cheers of the placated crowd.

A representative for Jenner did not return a call for comment.

"If I had carried Pepsi, I guess I never would have gotten arrested".

Bernice King, the daughter of legendary civil-rights leader MLK Jr., added her voice to the chorus of detractors who've condemned the ad, taking aim at the commercial with a particularly biting flair.

Share