Pepsi has pulled the controversial Kendall Jenner commercial it only just recently premiered this week. This revocation is in response to the overwhelming controversy that has surrounded the ad spot since its debut. The Pepsi commercial has drawn the ire and wrath of social justice activists and even Bernice King, youngest daughter of legendary civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. So, in attempt to calm rather than stoke the fires, Pepsi has released an official statement apologizing for the unintentional insensitivity.

Pepsi vs protesters

For the now infamous and controversial commercial, Pepsi enlisted the help of “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” star Kendall Jenner. In the commercial, Jenner is at a photoshoot when she spots protesters and police in the street. She tears off her blonde wig, wipes off her lipstick and proceeds to covertly make her way through the crowd to the front lines of the (non-existent) altercation.

There she retrieves a Pepsi from an cooler, walks up and hands it to a police officer, and then a woman in a headscarf photographs this moment. Suddenly there is rejoicing in the streets between “protesters” and police and all's right with the world thanks to Jenner and the “power of Pepsi.”

Naturally, there were several activists, actual protesters, and advocates of Black Lives Matter, who felt the commercial was making light of the recent social tensions and real-life protests. Bernice King even took to Twitter to offer a biting criticism of the ad.

In her tweet, King shared a photo of her father being pushed back by police and wrote, “If only Daddy would have known about the power of Pepsi.”

Making amends

In light of the recent backlash and extreme criticisms both Pepsi and Jenner have been receiving since the commercial’s release, Pepsi issued a statement today, Wednesday, April 5, apologizing for the misunderstanding.

In the statement, Pepsi said, "Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding.

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."

Whether or not consumers and activists will so quickly forgive the company’s faux pas, remains to be seen. This event does; however, shed a light on the topic of topic sensitivity and awareness in advertisement.

Hopefully, Pepsi’s mistake will act as an important lesson to its competitors and companies everywhere to choose your premises wisely and make your messages as clear as possible, or you might be next on the social chopping block.

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