Pepsi is standing up for its ad featuring Kendall Jenner, after critics on social media accused the ad of appropriating resistance and protest culture for the purpose of shilling soda.
In a statement issued to TheWrap on Tuesday, Pepsi said that the commercial has “an important message to convey.
“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 import message to convey,” Pepsi told TheWrap.
Not many on Twitter seem to agree. On Tuesday, the ad came under heavy criticism via social media.
In the commercial, Jenner, a blonde wig perched atop her head, poses for a photo shoot as sign-carrying marchers take to the street.
Encouraged by one of the marchers, Jenner pulls the wig from her head, strides through the crowd, and brings peace to the raucous scene by handing a police officer a can of Pepsi.
Responses to the ad were anything but peaceful.
“No @pepsi. No @KendallJenner. You are not woke. Can’t believe you’re imitating ‘flower power’ movement to sell soda,” went one outraged reaction.
“Kendall Jenner gives a Pepsi to a cop and rids the world of -isms,” another critic hissed. “Y’all can go somewhere with this tone-deaf, shallow and over-produced ad.”
“Kendall Jenner & Pepsi: Two nouns that should never be used in conjunction with the resistance movement,” went another response.
“PepsiCo cares about your millennial social activism. That’s why we’re introducing ‘checks clipboard’ Kendall Jenner high-fiving cops,” wrote another critic.