Pepsi pulls advert featuring Kendall Jenner after it prompts outrage and ridicule from critics saying it trivialises rights protests
Pepsi has withdrawn and apologised for a new advertising campaign featuring celebrity and model Kendall Jenner. It follows a backlash for a video that has been accused of undermining the “Black Lives Matter” movement against police brutality.
In it, Jenner leaves a photoshoot to join protesters calling for love and peace, before handing a can to police as a peace offering. The officer cracks a smile and the crowd cheers.
Critics claim it paints a “privileged, white” supermodel as a peacemaker between civil rights activists and police, all in the name of selling cola.
In particular some have suggested the ad looks similar to a picture of Leshia Evans who was charged by riot police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 2016.
— Jon Hardie (@BonhoefferLives) February 4, 2017
Bernice King, the daughter of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr, has gone on social media posting a photo of her father with the tag, “If only Daddy would have known about the power of #Pepsi.”
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) April 5, 2017
Social media quickly became alive with mocking messages and photos about the ad and the product.
— David Weiner (@daweiner) April 4, 2017
Blavity</a> on Facebook <a href="https://twitter.com/pepsi">pepsi#PepsiMajorFail#PepsiLivesMatter#PepsiCorporateElite
KendallJenner</a> <a href="https://t.co/IxZh28BBHj">pic.twitter.com/IxZh28BBHj</a></p>— LA Peoples Media (LAPeoplesMedia) April 5, 2017
Pepsi initially defended the video saying it “reflects people from different walks of life coming together in a spirit of harmony”. But later admitted “they’d missed the mark”.