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06 Apr 2017

Pepsi pulls down Kendall Jenner ad over protests

Pepsi accused of mocking protest movements

The latest controversial ad campaign by Pepsi featuring reality TV star and supermodel Kendall Jenner in a rally left a sour taste in some people's mouth.

Pepsi realizing the backlash apologized and pulled the ad down from circulation.

The company published a statement admitting that although, they were "trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding," they clearly "missed the mark".

In context

Pepsi accused of mocking protest movements
Could a beverage establish world peace?

Sipping sugar

Could a beverage establish world peace?

The controversial ad campaign showed Kendall Jenner joining a protest movement (not sure about what) ripping off her blonde wig and wiping away her lipstick.

And then she grabs a can of Pepsi and offers it to a policeman, who gives a smile after sipping from the can.

Black dancers and a woman in traditional Muslim headscarf were also featured in the protest.

Corporate gumption

A nasty corporate take on "Black lives matter"

Within minutes of its launch protesters and activists retaliated to the mockery of the actual protest sites in Baltimore, Maryland, and Ferguson, Missouri.

The cringe-worthy ad mimicked Ieshia Evans, who stood tall in front of the armed police forces during "Black Lives Matter" protest.

Martin Luther King Jr.'s daughter Bernice King tweeted, "If only Daddy would have known about the power of #Pepsi".

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Taking a well deserved dig at the fudge-up


Taking a well deserved dig at the fudge-up

American comedian, Stephen Cobert called the ad "unrealistic" saying how a protest for "Attractive Lives Matter" must have "caused all of America's hot extras to take to the streets."

American civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson, who was also a part of "Black Lives Matter" movement tweeted "If I had carried a Pepsi I guess I never would've gotten arrested. Who knew?"


Media agencies weren't too effusive either

"Pepsi should fire its ad agency," wrote New York Post.

Salon seemed more puzzled about the fact that "a rich, white celebrity" was cast as the leading lady to portray Black people's protest movement.

Esquire called it thoughtless, saying, "The campaign is tone-deaf, almost surreal in its thoughtlessness, and perverse in its attempt to use the fear and suffering of Americans to sell soda."

Remember the lovely 'Pepsi thi, pi gaya' campaign?

India debacle

Remember the lovely 'Pepsi thi, pi gaya' campaign?

Pepsi's creative team seems to have a habit of mocking protests, as it did in an Indian ad campaign too.

In 2015, in that TVC Pepsi featured a group of students protesting against the college administration mimicking a similar one against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as the institute director.

The ad garnered massive backlash from all over the country and was pulled off.

Pepsi advertisement up on the sky

Pepsi was the first product that was advertised using skywriting. In 1932, the company hired pilot Andy Stinis to write 'Pepsi' over various cities in the US. Pepsi published print ads in local papers to let people know that the Pepsi-Cola Skypilot was in town.

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