Remember that Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad?
The soda brand has run into controversy with its recent two-and-a-half-minute ad. In the ad model Kendall Jenner reduces tension with police officers by handing one of them a can of soda. Jenner is in the middle of a photo shoot when she happens to notice a protest march making down the street.
Pepsi clams they were trying to project a message of unity, peace and understanding. They now claimed they missed the mark, and have begun to apologize.” Pepsi wrote in a statement on Wednesday. “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 protest in the ad is a far cry from the demonstrations that have broken out across the United States over the past few years. In Pepsi’s version, no one seems too worked up about anything. The ad has sparked accusations that Pepsi has started a racial protest movement just to sell a their brands fizzy drinks.
“This ad plays with the urgency of the issues and it diminishes the seriousness of why we got into the street in the first place,” activist DeRay McKesson told NBC News. McKesson, who organized and protested in Ferguson after the death of Michael Brown, also has issues with the brand’s apology.
“Pepsi didn’t apologize to all of the people who have been protesting for two years, didn’t apologize to the people who dedicated their lives and their time to these issues and to understand the urgency of them because in so many cases, there’s so much at stake including people’s lives,” he said.
Pepsi is not the first brand to attempt to use counterculture and protest movements to sell its product. Pepsi and several other brands have poked fun at issues in society that should not have been. Let’s all just step back, take a breath and realize there’s a bigger issues at hand.