Kendall Jenner hands a Pepsi can to a cop patrolling a protest, and the TV spot instantly blows up. Pepsi pulled the ad after less than a day and apologized.
“A variety of people (from Lena Dunham to Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter) [weighed] in to call it tone-deaf (or worse), and outlets including the New York Times [covered] the controversy,” People magazine noted.
“Pepsi initially defended the spot, calling it ‘an important message to convey,’ but after furor didn’t die down, they decided to pull the ad altogether.”
In a statement, the beverage company said: “Pepsi was trying to project a global a message of unity, peace and understanding. 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.”
A selection of reactions to the commercial:
“Kendall please! Give him a Pepsi!” pic.twitter.com/IntFNmCpTr
— Zito (@_Zeets) April 4, 2017
Miss Fame on Kendall Jenner’s new Pepsi ad pic.twitter.com/faKL7luOyP
— Common Gay Boy (@CGBPosts) April 5, 2017
Thank you Kendall Jenner, for bringing down the Berlin Wall, with love, and Pepsi pic.twitter.com/xetFZ2obMN
— ShortList Magazine (@ShortList) April 5, 2017
— Mary Georgantopoulos (@marygeorgant) April 5, 2017
— The Hill (@thehill) April 5, 2017
Wow! Kendall Jenner and Pepsi have redefined vapid. First of all, we know that only FANTA brings peace. Pepsi catches people on fire.
— Christopher Titus (@TitusNation) April 5, 2017
— Naija Boy (@OsasCruz) April 5, 2017
After Kendall Jenner taught us we can placate police with Pepsi, the authorities reveal their new weapon in crowd dispersal ???? pic.twitter.com/hSN2w6hv0l
— AKIRA THE DON (@akirathedon) April 5, 2017
— Proud Resister ✊️ (@the_ryan_knight) April 5, 2017
“we apologize to Kendall Jenner for putting her in a position where she might have to consider the thoughts & opinions of the poors” Pepsi
— Foxy’s Calculator (@HaroldBingo) April 5, 2017
..can’t even form words to discuss @pepsi because the words that come to mind are words that could potentially deactivate my twitter account
— Aisha Hinds (@AishaHinds) April 5, 2017