On Wednesday, Pepsi posted an apology on its Twitter handle after its latest advertisement featuring Kendall Jenner sparked outrage. The commercial was also taken off the soft drink giant’s YouTube channel.
The ad shows Jenner, playing a model, defusing a potential face-off between police officers and protesters by simply offering a can of Pepsi to a cop.
Not unexpectedly, it caused an uproar in the United States for making light of a serious situation. It also drew angry reactions from prominent personalities, including Madonna and Lena Dunham.
The ad shows Jenner in the middle of a photo shoot when protesters on the street catch her eye, and she decides to join them. She walks up to a waiting police officer without trepidation, and offers him the soft drink.
The officer stretches out his hand for the can and we see him taking a swig, before the crowd erupts with celebratory applause. He then turns to his colleague with a reconciliatory smile.
The ad drew quite a few reactions from prominent public figures too. Music icon Madonna took posted a photograph where she can be seen holding a can of Pepsi's arch rival Coca-Cola and captioned it with a number one emoji to probably drive the point home.
According to People magazine, this picture is from the year 1999.
Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr, tweeted a picture of her father heading 1966's March Against Fear and wrote, "If only Daddy would have known about the power of #Pepsi."
Assuming everything that can be said about faux-test Pepsi ad has been said so I'm just gonna go with this: it didn't make me want Pepsi— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) April 5, 2017
The Solution? Hand Them A Pepsi!
And this is what ordinary tweeple had to say:
As a trans-black man living in America today, I am very offended by the Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad for mocking the struggles POC like me face.— Mark Dice (@MarkDice) April 5, 2017
imagine the peace we would have in the world if kendall jenner handed ISIS a pepsi— wus poppin jimbo (@BillRatchet) April 5, 2017
Kendall Jenner's Pepsi commercial is an insult to anyone who's been marching and fighting for injustice pic.twitter.com/xUGPBzrfPI— mar (@poeticsNormani) April 5, 2017
Pepsi used Kendall Jenner to appropriate activism with a narrative that subverts a crucial discourse of the working class.— Samer / سامر (@WaladShami) April 5, 2017
Kendall Jenner ended police brutality with a Pepsi. so if a cop tries to beat or kill you hand them a Pepsi asap!— ㅤ (@drugvisuals) April 5, 2017
On Kendall Being The Lead
Pepsi CEO: WE NEED A NEW COMMERCIAL! IDEAS!— X (@XLNB) April 5, 2017
Intern: Police brutality!
CEO: go on...
Intern: KENDALL JENNER!
CEO: Rick, you're a genius... pic.twitter.com/mmPVKrZghG
how nice of Kendall Jenner to stop in the middle of her photo shoot to end social injustices by giving that cop a Pepsi 😍 MLK who? Rosa who?— reggie (@1942bs) April 4, 2017
When Kendall Jenner gives that Pepsi to the cop, why do all the protesters start cheering? Is it supposed to be an anti-Coke protest?— Jerry David (@BostonJerry) April 4, 2017