Less than 24 hours after posting a tone-deaf, widely-criticized advertisement featuring model Kendall Jenner, Pepsi has pulled the plug on the entire campaign.
The spot received immediate criticism for making light of serious situations around the world, glamorizing and failing to take protest and potential police brutality seriously, and completely missing the mark by featuring Jenner in an ad about “being woke.”
On Wednesday, Pepsi revealed they’re pulling the ad.
“Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding,” the company said Wednesday in a news release. “Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologize.”
“We also apologize for putting Kendall Jenner in this position,” PepsiCo Inc. said.
As I mentioned before, it’s shocking the ad made it past an initial pitch meeting. Frankly, it’s amazing a company as massive as PepsiCo decided to put out an advertisement so stunningly obtuse. Somebody on the Pepsi team had to object the premise, right? Reaction from both sides of the political spectrum was negative. That’s a hard feat to accomplish.
Kudos to Pepsi for eventually recognizing the ad was awful, apologizing and pulling the campaign entirely. But, with simple critical thinking, this whole mess could have been avoided in the first place. Next time, they need to better test commercials on a diverse test audience – it would have been rejected on premise alone.