Pepsi had to pull down their latest commercial featuring American super model and reality Star; Kendall Jenner due to the heavy backlash and scorn it has received from the public and social media.
The two and a half minute ad shows Kendall Jenner, clad in denim, leaving the scene of a photoshoot to join a crowd of cheery young protesters of different ethnicity, bearing peace symbols and messages such as ” Join the conversation” and “love”. The protesters applaud and cheer on as Kendall then goes to hand over a can of Pepsi to a police officer who takes a sip and then all is well in the world. Jenner seemingly serves as a peacemaker between the protesters and Police officers. No killings, no violence as with a typical radical protest.
The ad has been subjected to ridicule and heavy criticism on the grounds of the ad treating the issue of ‘black lives matter’ and protest for social justice cause with insensitivity and triviality.
Some critics said that the ad evoked an image of Black Lives Matter protester, Leshia Evans, an eighteen year old woman who bravely walked up to officers during a demonstration in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, last year.
On Twitter, Pepsi apologized to the public, stating that:
“Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace, and understanding. Clearly, we missed the mark and we apologize.”
They also apologized to the Keeping up with the kardashians star for “putting her in this position” as she was not excluded from the ridicule. Eric Thomas, a Senior partner with Saga marketing wrote that:
“A Caucasian, blonde, classically beautiful, affluent kid born into celebrity probably isn’t the person you need to represent struggle and civil unrest.”