Pepsi recently launched it’s newest campaign with model Kendall Jenner at the forefront for added star power.
The advertisement has copped a lot of flack since it’s release because it trivialized a number of issues including police brutality and the Black Lives Matter protests.
The widespread backlash resulted in Pepsi pulling the whole campaign and releasing a press statement apologizing for the ad’s insensitive imagery, according to Complex.
“Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace, and understanding,” the statement said. “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. We also apologize for putting Kendall Jenner in this position.”
The ad shows young people waving signs with statements like “join the conversation”. The protesters are seen to be joyful and happy, smiling and laughing.
Jenner is undergoing a photo shoot but is soon distracted by the passing-by protesters and then joins them, discarding her makeup and costume for her “everyday” double-denim look.
Near the end of the clip, Jenner approaches a police officer and offers him a Pepsi. That moment was allegedly intended to communicate unity as both sides of the protest are brought together by a carbonated drink, but, it was also a seen that reminded many of photos of Ieshia Evans who was a protester detained by police while protesting in Baton Rouge following the shooting death of Alton Sterling at the hands of police.
The whole campaign received backlash because Pepsi had used imagery from serious protests like Black Lives Matter, the Women’s Marches or Pride Marches to sell the product. Jenner has also been held accountable for her role in the ad as well.
Although the ad has now been removed, you can still find it online. Watch it below to see for yourself.