Kendall Jenner is the star of the Pepsi ad that the brand pulled after it became the subject of heavy criticism on social media. (Pepsi/Twitter)
No amount of any crisp, refreshing beverage could save Pepsi’s latest ad from oblivion.
The company announced it would be pulling its controversial commercial starring model Kendall Jenner following a significant amount of backlash on social media.
“Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding,” the company said in a statement posted to Twitter on Wednesday. “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.” Pepsi also apologized to Jenner.
— Pepsi (@pepsi) April 5, 2017
The ad’s many critics derided the spot as being disrespectful and appropriative of the Black Lives Matter movement and protests of President Donald Trump, including the Women’s March on Washington.
In the ad, Jenner sees a protest or march happening when she’s in a photo shoot and heads outside, where she gives a police officer a can of Pepsi, a move that’s cheered by the crowd.
The scene was derided as being tone-deaf, and in the model’s gesture towards the officer, many had seen the famous stance of Ieshia Evans at a Black Lives Matter protest in Baton Rouge, captured in a widely circulated photo that showed her resolutely standing still as she was approached by two officers in riot gear.
Social media roundly panned the ad shortly after it surfaced Tuesday night, mocking the concept, turning it into a meme and sharing other Pepsi ads in its place, including a spot that featured Beyonce dancing and another that starred the singer with Britney Spears and Pink.
.@Pepsi, this ad is trash. pic.twitter.com/x4iUd6hJYm
— deray mckesson (@deray) April 4, 2017