Today, the soda company announced that they are pulling commercials and advertisements featuring the model / Kardashian sibling in the way of outcry around the world, calling the ad “tone-deaf” for its attempt to minimize the plight of a protest movement, claiming that everything can be resolved by just handing a police officer a can of Pepsi.
In a statement today, the company had the following to say about the ad, and to Jennfer for putting her in a spot where she could face such criticism in the first place:
“Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding. Clearly, we missed the mark, and we apologize. We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are pulling the content and halting any further rollout. We also apologize for putting Kendall Jenner in this position.”
Do we think that Pepsi was trying to cause outrage and anger? Probably not, but they were clearly trying to spark discussion in the same way that many companies like Budweiser did around the Super Bowl, when they chose to either subtly or, in the case of a lumber company, rather overtly take on the subject of illegal immigration. Even if the intentions were pure, the backlash was still there from people who think that politics and products don’t quite mix. Another thing to think about here is that we’re already in an environment that is so tense politically that the majority of Americans at this point don’t want to look towards their favorite beverages / snacks as a mouthpiece for any degree of social justice. They just want a chance to relax and get away from the heated rhetoric.
We’re not sure why anyone at Pepsi thought this was a good idea for so many reasons — Jenner’s a polarizing figure as a spokesperson in the first place, and then you’re throwing her into an environment where people are inevitably going to be outraged. From start to finish, this was a recipe for disaster and it’s unfolded in precisely the way you would expect.
Do you think that Pepsi handled the situation of the Jenner ad properly, or is there anything that they should have done differently, outside of not creating it in the first place? Share in the comments. (Photo: Pepsi.)