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Update, 6 April, 10.00am: Pepsi has since issued an apology and removed the advert from circulation.
— Pepsi™ (@pepsi) April 5, 2017
Many believed the apology to Kendall Jenner — rather than activists at large — to be a misstep.
— Sidaya “Sid” (@SidayaSherwood) April 5, 2017
@pepsi In your next apology, I suggest you apologize to victims of police brutality and those who *actually* protest such atrocities…
— Brandy Reese (@blreese) April 5, 2017
Jenner has not yet issued a statement.
Original article: Pepsi has long been known as the inferior cola by some with taste buds, but it isn’t its product that has people upset this time.
Yesterday, the company released an advert starring Kendall Jenner that showed her at a vague protest making “peace” with police officers. And unfortunately for Pepsi, it missed its mark on both sides of the political equation.
Liberals on Twitter found the clip to be monopolising on an ongoing struggle and resistance, insinuating that peace can be found if protesters are just nicer to police. And more conservative-leaning people have criticised it for promoting protest action.
But they don’t know I’m carrying a Pepsi on me pic.twitter.com/o3bTEWfg4u
— ✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨ (@merelynora) April 5, 2017
This Pepsi commercial just displays how trendy protests have become to lefties – even if the protesters have no idea what they’re protesting
— Kassy Dillon (@KassyDillon) April 5, 2017
The commercial also made waves in South Africa. At 8.57am, Pepsi was trending second nationally as South Africans took to criticising the advert while still cracking signature jokes.
I don’t know why South Africans are so offended by this Pepsi ad… We give cops cool drink money all the time…
— Lazola Gola (@LazGola) April 5, 2017
— JASON 👻 (@Savio_XCII) April 5, 2017
Pepsi and Kendall have gone as far as appropriating protests. Our struggles. Hai, wow. pic.twitter.com/PHvBz7d4X7
— Black Queen (@MissRapotu) April 4, 2017
Transformation in the ad community is needed at a global level. Sensitivity training at a universal level shame wow. #Pepsi
— Lord Zang Aphoswe ☔ (@Mzo_XO) April 5, 2017
— Nathi 🌹🌺 (@Nathi_Thema) April 5, 2017
Nah, fam, it’s all out of context. Part 2 of the ad involves them shaking up the Pepsi cans in order to combat the fire hoses
— Nigel Reddy (@Leginer) April 5, 2017
No need for Pepsi to panic about the outrage over their Kendall Ad, no self respecting human being chooses a Pepsi over a Coke #PEPSI
— Bilal 🇿🇦🔥 (@billz_25) April 4, 2017
And, of course, everyone was making that joke.
waitress: is pepsi ok
me: is white supremacy ok
— gary from teen mom (@garyfromteenmom) April 4, 2017
Me: I’ll have a Coke please.
Waitress: Is Pepsi OK?
— bobby digital (@robtruglia) April 5, 2017
PROTESTER: I’d like equal rights
COP: [looks up from notepad] oof, we don’t have that, is pepsi ok
— Albro (@bromanconsul) April 4, 2017
Waiter: Is Pepsi okay?
Me: *holds up a protest sign saying “Is referencing a contemporary media moment with this joke format okay?”*
— braden graeber (@hipstermermaid) April 5, 2017
Pepsi has yet to issue a statement, but did issue this comment to CNN Money:
“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,” the company explains.
The video currently features over 860 000 views, but 12 500 dislikes.
Watch this space.