Pepsi is pulling their new commercial starring Kendall Jenner after considerable backlash, the company announced on Wednesday.
“Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding,” the company said in a statement. “Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologize. We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are pulling the content and halting any further rollout. We also apologize for putting Kendall Jenner in this position.”
The statement is a reversal from Pepsi’s stance a day ago, when the company called the commercial “important” in a statement to TheWrap.
“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,” Pepsi said on Tuesday.
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.
After it debuted online, the ad came under heavy criticism via social media.
“No @pepsi. No @KendallJenner. You are not woke. Can’t believe you’re imitating ‘flower power’ movement to sell soda,” went one outraged reaction on Twitter.
“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.”
Pepsi's statement. pic.twitter.com/ge8uMcamGa
— Jennifer Maloney (@maloneyfiles) April 5, 2017