Pepsi is pulling the plug on a controversial ad campaign that has faced widespread backlash for appearing to trivialize Black Lives Matters and other civil rights causes.
The ad, released Tuesday, featured Kendall Jenner ditching a modelling shoot to join a protest, where she hands a can of Pepsi to a police officer to grins and cheers.
But with social media outrage boiling over within hours of the ad’s release, the soda company is now apologizing.
“Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding. Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologize,” says a statement from the company released Wednesday.
“We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are removing the content and halting any further rollout. We also apologize for putting Kendall Jenner in this position.”
Pepsi has already pulled video of the ad from online platforms including YouTube, however it’s still up on Kendall and Kylie Jenner’s account.
The move marks an abrupt turnaround for the company which had initially defended the ad, writing “this is a global ad that reflects people from different walks of life coming together in a spirit of harmony and we think that’s an important message to convey.”
Here’s a look at how some people on social media reacted to the campaign.
So we should just give Putin & Assad & Trump a can of Pepsi & everything will be fine?— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) April 4, 2017
If I had carried Pepsi I guess I never would've gotten arrested. Who knew?— deray mckesson (@deray) April 5, 2017
I AM SCREAMING pic.twitter.com/3aWFdvmz5j— reggie (@1942bs) April 4, 2017