Pepsi pulls protest-themed video after online outrage

With an ad that sought to spark discussion in an era of heated protests, yet another high-profile company stomps its way into a political minefield.

It’s rare that an issue can unite both left and right in equal levels of indignation, but Pepsi was forced to pull a new video campaign Wednesday after a major misfire.

The now-removed video tells a fictional story about a protester—played by model Kendall Jenner—who wins huzzahs from fellow demonstrators after handing a can of pop to a cop.

After years of protests over politics and allegations of police excesses, Pepsi appears to have waded into the same shark-infested waters that have claimed other brands in recent years.

“Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding,” the company stated. “Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologize. 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.”

(Give brand managers bonus points for apologizing to the model, who has been the subject of online ridicule.)

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.