Pepsi pulled its controversial commercial starring Kendall Jenner on Wednesday (Apr. 5) after it was met with widespread criticism. The advertisement shows the model joining in with a protest before handing a police officer a Pepsi, and was accused of trivializing and commercializing protests.
In a statement posted to Twitter, the company wrote: "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."
Kendall has yet to speak about the controversy
Although Kendall has yet to comment on the controversy, she has deleted tweets where she shared the video, writing that she was "honoured" to be a part of the project. The ad was originally described as taking "a more progressive approach to truly reflect today's generation and what living for now looks like," and Pepsi initially defended the video by describing it as "a global ad that reflects people from different walks of life coming together in a spirit of harmony, and we think that's an important message to convey."
People quickly took to social media to discuss the apology, with one writing: "No need to say sorry. It was an ad, it was made to sell a product, I think that at no point you meant for it to be offensive," while another suggested that they shouldn't have apologized to Kendall, writing: "If you paid her for her work per any kind of contractual agreement she went in with both eyes open, profited, & therefore is owed nothing."
Stephen Colbert also addressed the controversy on The Late Show on Wednesday night, saying: "We have a deeply divided nation. But today, it seems that everyone has come together to join the protest against the new protest ad from Pepsi."