On Wednesday, Pepsi announced that it would be pulling a controversial ad that was almost universally mocked for its portrayal of Kendall Jenner handing a police officer a soda during a protest.
“Pepsi was trying to project a global a message of unity, peace and understanding (sic),” the company said in a statement to the Daily Beast. “Clearly, we missed the mark, and we apologize. We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are pulling the content and halting any further rollout. We also apologize for putting Kendall Jenner in this position.”
In the ad, Jenner is taking part in a photoshoot before being distracted by a protest, which she joins. She follows the protesters until she reaches a police officer, and she hands the stoic officer a Pepsi, causing him to crack a smile.
Many blasted the ad for apparently co-opting the Black Lives Matter movement and making light of a serious situation. Bernice King, the youngest daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., tweeted a response to the ad as well, writing alongside a picture of her late father, “If only Daddy would have known about the power of #Pepsi.”
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) April 5, 2017