Pepsi pulls Kendall Jenner advert amid outcry


Kendall Jenner gives drink to officerImage copyright
Pepsi

Pepsi has pulled an advert that sparked an outcry and accusations that the drinks maker was trivialising recent street protests across the US.

The advert featured reality TV star Kendall Jenner leaving a photo shoot to join a heavily policed demonstration.

She defuses the tension by walking to the police line and handing an officer a can of Pepsi, prompting cheers.

In a statement posted on its website, Pepsi said they did not intend to make light of serious issues.

Image copyright
PA

Image caption

Kendall Jenner was derided for taking part

The much-ridiculed advert was posted to YouTube on Tuesday evening but was no longer accessible there less than 24 hours later.

For nearly two years, there have been protests about the use of force by police against African Americans.

And since the election, there have also been demonstrations against President Donald Trump.

The advert did not specify what the crowds of mainly young, and very good looking, people were marching for. Even their signs only had generic slogans like “conversation” and “voice”.

But within minutes of its launch, observers said it trivialised protests in cities like Baltimore, Maryland, and Ferguson, Missouri, that followed the police killing of black men.

Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

People drew comparisons with Ieshia Evans who faced police in Baton Rouge

“If I had carried Pepsi, I guess I never would have gotten arrested. Who knew?” said DeRay McKesson, a leading activist in the Black Lives Matter movement. “Pepsi, this ad is trash.”

The soda-maker said it was “trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding”.

The statement went on: “Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologise.

“We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are removing the content and halting any further rollout.”



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