The road to hell is paved with good intentions and all that, but Pepsi just hit a serious pothole — and they don't want to take Kendall Jenner down with them.
On Tuesday (April 4), Pepsi released an advertisement starring Jenner doing what she does best — modeling — and ditching a photo shoot to participate in a protest. She flings off a blonde wig and heads into the throngs carrying signs (one of them says "Join The Conversation"). She then reaches out to a police officer by grabbing a cold can of Pepsi and handing it over as a recyclable peace offering.
The commercial didn't inspire so much as it sparked outrage, and a lot of it, as social media took Pepsi and Jenner to task for using Black Lives Matter, the Women's March, and other movements that engage in peaceful protest as a basis for a marketing ploy. The backlash focused on Pepsi's lack of acknowledgment of the very real causes the protesters that inspired this campaign so passionately support.
In the hours after the video drop, Pepsi made an initial statement to Adweek that stressed how it was interested in conveying a "spirit of harmony," with no apology attached.
Now, Pepsi is changing its tune, and has issued an apology after pulling the ad. "Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding," it said. "Clearly, we missed the mark and apologize. We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are pulling the content and halting any further rollout." The company also made a point to apologize to Kendall:
Jenner has not publicly commented on the debacle, though she did share a '90s Pepsi ad starring Cindy Crawford a few days before the commercial's debut.