On April 4th, Pepsi released an ad with the second youngest of the Kardashian/Jenner clan, Kendall Jenner, as their new spokesperson. The ad starts off with Jenner wearing a blonde wig, modeling for a photoshoot. A group of protesters march by and she rips her wig off and joins the march. The march eventually meets up with a familiar scene for protesters: a line of police officers. Jenner grabs a can of Pepsi and hands it to an officer and it appears that all the problems are solved. The police are smiling, laughing and the crowd is cheering.
The commercial faced major backlash on social media immediately following its release. On Pepsi’s official YouTube, the description under the video read “A short film about the moments when we decide to let go, choose to act, follow our passion and nothing holds us back.”
Critics of the commercial have said that it’s a mockery of protests and it trivialized the seriousness of police brutality. The idea that world peace can be achieved by handing a police officer a can of Pepsi has not been received well by the public.
Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. tweeted “If only Daddy knew about the power of #Pepsi.”
Pepsi pulled the ad and posted an apology statement on Twitter the day after its release. The soda company probably didn’t expect the further backlash they would receive after the apology. Pepsi chose to apologize not to protesters and people of color, but to Kendall Jenner, the star of the commercial. They apologized for “missing the mark” and for “putting Kendall Jenner in this situation.” The company seemed to forget that Kendall Jenner is a grown woman whoknows how her own decisions and should be held accountable for her mistakes.
By Madison Goodmiller