The reaction Pepsi received over its new ad is certainly not one they had expected. Their new ad, starring Kendall Jenner, has been called tone-deaf and insensitive.

Pepsi has defended their creative direction with this ad, even though the backlash has been severe. This is not the first time Kendall Jenner is linked to a controversy.

In bad taste

The ad, which lasts two and a half minutes, features a track by Skip Marley. It shows Jenner leaving a photo shoot to join a protest, which shows activists carrying signs with slogans such as "love" and "join the conversation." The crucial moment of the ad comes when Jenner picks up a can of Pepsi and hands it to a police officer, as a kind of peace offering.

The officer smiles and the crowd erupt into cheers.

The commercial, apart from being of poor taste and misguided, has far-reaching implications. Showing a rich, young, white model single-handedly bridging the gap between the protesters and the police through a drink, which is sold by a massive conglomerate is insensitive at best. Pepsi is making light of the numerous cases of police brutality, especially against people of color. Also, the company is co-opting political movements which are often anti-capitalist, for the purpose of pure marketing.

The Internet reacts

Twitter user "@YeahItsWilly" posted a photograph taken in Baltimore on his Twitter account. The photo shows a young black boy standing in front of a line of police officers.

He is offering them bottles of water, but the officers do not acknowledge him.

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“We did this in Baltimore. Nothing changed @pepsi,” wrote the user. Another Twitter user, "@J_Manasa," wrote: "The gag is that if a black man put their hand in their pocket to get out a Pepsi for a cop at a protest, they'd get shot." However, not only Americans are outraged. People in countries experiencing political unrest, such as Venezuela, are also rightfully angry.

The ad was released with a statement from Pepsi which reads: "This is a global ad that reflects people from different walks of life are coming together in a spirit of harmony. We think that's an important message to convey." Kendall Jenner has not released a statement so far, but this is not the first time she is involved in controversy. The Independent reports that in 2016, Jenner shot a video for Vogue, where she posed as a ballerina. The video resulted in an uproar after professional ballerinas called her disrespectful to actual dancers.