Pepsi faces web backlash for Kendall Jenner 'protest' ad

05/04/2017

Pepsi has withdrawn its latest video ad, where reality TV star Kendall Jenner uses a can of Pepsi to soothe tension between protesters and police, sparking accusations that it exploits the "Black Lives Matter" movement.

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The new advert sees the reality TV star and model giving a can of the drink to a police officer during a protest.

The two and a half minute ad features a track by Bob Marley's grandson Skip Marley. The video was posted on YouTube yesterday (3rd April 2017)and has been viewed over a million times on the Google-owned channel. Presently, the video has 2,000 likes but over 14,000 dislikes.

It shows the Keeping Up WIth The Kardashians star leave a photo shoot to join a protest where activists are carrying signs that read "love" and "join the conversation".

The commercial is being criticised by people who have interpreted it as a co-opt of the resistance movement whilst featuring a privileged, white, famous young model using a drink sold by a massive conglomerate to create peace between activists and law enforcement.

Pepsi released a statement which said: "This is a global ad that reflects people from different walks of life coming together in a spirit of harmony. We think that's an important message to convey."

However, many on social media have been critical of the ad.

Here's some examples:


In response to the outcry, the soft drinks giant decided to pull the ad from YouTube and other hosting sites, just 24 hours after going live.

A spokesperson for the brand said: “Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding. Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologise. “We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are removing the content and halting any further rollout. We also apologise for putting Kendall Jenner in this position.”

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