Pepsi removes controversial 'tone-deaf' ad
"Clearly we missed the mark and we apologise," Pepsi said in a statement
[Updated 6 April 2017] Following the backlash the ad has received, Pepsi has removed its 'Live for Now Moments Anthem' campaign featuring Kendall Jenner.
"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," the company has said in an official statement.
Kendall Jenner has yet to comment on the ad but according to ET Online, a source said that the model is "devastated" by the entire situation.
"This is the first controversial campaign she has been involved with," the source said. "Even though she had nothing to do with the production and the message of the campaign, she will be blamed for this since she is the face."
If you're wondering why Kendall has yet to comment, the source reports that due to her million-dollar contract and agreement with Pepsi, she's not allowed to comment on the controversy without the company's approval.
Pepsi has released its latest ad starring Kendall Jenner and boy, did Twitter have a field day with this one. The 'Live for Now Moments Anthem' video is getting some serious backlash with many seeing it as "tone-deaf" and "using controversy to their advantage".
The video starts off with some sort of protest taking place in the streets and in the midst of all that, Kendall's doing her supermodel thing, posing for photos in a blonde wig. When beckoned to join the protest, she whips off the wig, wipes off her lipstick and marches along. The video ends with her offering a police officer a can of Pepsi which he takes, sips from, grins and the crowd goes wild.
There's a lot we're left to question in this short film that Pepsi captioned on its YouTube page as 'the moments when we decide to let go, choose to act, follow our passion and nothing holds us back' – Why is she even wearing a blonde wig? Do protesters not wear lipstick? What are they even protesting?
Most noticeably, people can't help but point out the scary similarity of Kendall handing the Pepsi can to a photo that was taken during a real protest against police brutality in Baton Rouge, Louisiana last year.
As always, the Internet reacted to the cringeworthy ad and we have to admit, it's pretty called for. Despite all the backlash, Pepsi defended it in a statement: "This is a global ad that reflects people from different walks of life coming together in a spirit of harmony, and we think that's an important message to convey.”
I'm sure @pepsi already has an apology drafted. These companies are not THAT tone deaf. They're using controversy to their advantage— Uncoachable (@_Hate_Holly_) April 4, 2017
The fact that @pepsi think it's cool to commercialize the times we live in to sell a soda using a girl who's never marched for anything. Wtf— Miss Fame (@MissFameNYC) April 5, 2017
"Now just wait one second officers.— Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) April 5, 2017
I have a Pepsi." pic.twitter.com/NW0sddKOOI
This Pepsi ad is so unrealistic. Those protesters would have been Dr. Pepper Sprayed. https://t.co/oNjjtm6eFu— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) April 5, 2017
Pepsi Exec: We need to boost sales. What are the youth into these days?— Discount Chris Pratt (@thelollcano) April 5, 2017
Exec: good. we endorse it. but make it subtle pic.twitter.com/uiwxJWuVV2
"Kendall so what you're gonna do is pick up a can of pepsi and end social injustice issues" -Pepsi marketing team pic.twitter.com/btbUX7cgig— Ahmed/Rozay Top 5 (@big_business_) April 4, 2017