Kendall Jenner stars in a new commercial for Pepsi that has created quite a bit of controversy. Backlash begun when the reality star turned model is seen giving a police office a Pepsi in the midst of a protest. The ad is viewed as offensive to Black Lives Matter and other minorities who have struggled to have peaceful and positive interactions with law enforcement. The landscape is nothing like what the ad depicts and to suggest that the simple gesture of a Hollywood star handing a police officer a drink can solve the plethora of deep-seeded political and social issues is rather ignorant.
However, not all the blame should fall on Kendall’s shoulders, the entire Pepsi team should be held responsible for developing and implementing the concept. The brand may have been trying to connect with their audience and showcase that people from all walks of life can come together in the spirit of harmony, but this it not the way to do it, by simplifying issues like police brutality with product placement. Clearly, the appropriation of a movement in the name of selling a product is not going to sit well with consumers.
You can watch the ad here.
UPDATE: The ad has been pulled.
By Rhea Braganza