Pepsi advert with Kendall Jenner pulled after huge backlash
Pepsi has bowed to pressure and is “pulling” a controversial advertfeaturing Kendall Jenner at a protest.
The video has been removed from YouTube and in a statement, the company said: "Pepsi was trying to project a global a 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 pulling the content and halting any further rollout. We also apologise for putting Kendall Jenner in this position."
The advert was widely criticised for appearing to trivialise demonstrations aimed at tackling social justice causes. It was also said to be insensitive due to its apparent mirroring of a picture from a Black Lives Matters protest.
Jenner, a high-profile member of the celebrity Kardashian family, is shown in the advert stepping away from a modeling shoot to join a crowd of young protesters.
The protesters cheer after she hands a can of Pepsi to a police officer, who takes a sip. Among those mocking the advert was Bernice King, who tweeted a photo of her father, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr, being confronted by a police officer at a protest march.
"If only Daddy would have known about the power of (hash)Pepsi," the tweet said.
Larry Chiagouris, a professor of marketing at Pace University, said that the backlash was in part because Pepsi was a couple years "late to the party" with its message about unity, making its ad seem exploitive.
It isn't the first time PepsiCo has backpedalled and apologised for an advert.
In 2013, it pulled an advert for the soft drink Mountain Dew that was criticised for portraying racial stereotypes and appearing to make light of violence toward women