Pepsi Kendall Jenner Commercial

Pepsi Pulls Offensive Kendall Jenner Ad, Apologizes: 'We Missed the Mark'

Less than 24 hours after unveiling what many consider to be a controversial ad campaign, Pepsi is admitting defeat, pulling down the video and apologizing to star Kendall Jenner.

“Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding,” the company said Wednesday in a statement. “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.”

If you have no idea what we’re talking about — and given the short shelf life of the ad in question, we can’t blame you — here’s the gist: Pepsi on Tuesday released a “short film” in which Jenner joins/leads a large group of young protesters, resulting in a police standoff that can only be de-escalated by — you guessed it — the power of Pepsi.

The ad was considered problematic, not to mention straight-up confusing, for a number of reasons. Among them, many viewers felt the ad was co-opting an iconic image of Black Lives Matter protester Ieshia Evans.

What are your thoughts on Pepsi’s series of unfortunate events? Drop ’em in a comment below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. iHeart says:

    You know it’s funny, I was just thinking about the Pepsi ad that Madonna did in 89, and that had more staying power than this one did (that ad only aired twice, yeah I know why it was pulled before anyone asks)

    • if you dont learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it. Although this one is a bit less controversial, but still offensive. Remember, the Madonna/Pepsi thing was an accident as well, because Pepsi hadnt seen the official music video of the same song from the commercial until a day later.

      • Teresa says:

        What was Pepsi-Madonna ad about? Sorry I wasn’t born when the ad aired (ad aired in 89 and I was born in 98).

        • iHeart says:

          I wasn’t born either, in fact my mother was still pregnant with me, Madonna’s song Like a Prayer was used in a Pepsi commercial, however the music video for the song was well….certain groups weren’t happy with it and they urged Pepsi to drop the ad. Well long story short, it wasn’t the commercial that was controversial it was the music video that went with the song. Yeah I know probably got something incorrect in there somewhere

  2. Arthur says:

    Plot twist: this is actually a Coke ad

  3. Elaine says:

    They throw their life out there for everyone to see so it’s fair game. This country is so afraid of it of political correctness you you offend anyone and everyone by today’s standards.

    • Patrick says:

      A lot of people are interested in the Kardashians, and their half-sisters the Jenners. That doesn’t mean they LIKE these people. This ad would have worked without a member of this family attached.

      • Adam says:

        Using someone as privileged in life as Kendall Jenner as some kind of faux civil rights icon was insult onto injury, but the offense came from a lot of other places, not the least of which was the notion that the tensions could be resolved by offering a Pepsi. It’s not like they were just protestors drinking a Pepsi as part of the experience – it was presented as some kind of joyous moment or solution. It was all just a mess and a bad ad.

        • Patrick says:

          It could have worked with a normal (non famous) person watching a protest, gathering protesting supplies, joining said protest, and offering pepsi’s to EVERYONE. Both fellow protestors and the police. It wouldn’t have solved the underlying issues of the protest, but it would have shown the commonality of humans, with protesters exercising their rights, and police performing their duties. The Pepsi could have been presented as something that everyone enjoyed. It would have been seen as ameliorating a tense situation, not solving the problem.

      • retsim says:

        The people that are interested in the Kardashians are the saddest losers who have every thing apart from a Life of there own .So they hide their own failures and inadequateness by following these morons who could not survive in the real world .

      • Aeol says:

        Why TF are they apologizing to her? I work in the commercial industry. You mean to tell me a big “star” like Jenner and her agents didn’t see and approve the story boards before this travesty was filmed?

        • Patrick says:

          They aren’t apologizing to “her.” They are apologizing to the entire Kardashian family. Pepsi doesn’t need the rest of the family to bad mouth them on SM, or even to talk up Pepsi’s competitor. Further, giant companies don’t like to scapegoat their celebrity endorsers. It makes it that much harder, and more expensive, to get future endorsers. This apology meant nothing, it was just a pro forma thing that companies do in situations like this.

    • Fabrizia says:

      This has nothing to do with PC. The ad is just bad.

  4. JScout says:

    They should never have filmed it – it’s idiotic. But why are they apologizing to Kendall Jenner? She’s a grown woman who made the decision to do it, her own fault.

    • Fabrizia says:

      I thought they apologized FOR Kendall.

    • JCR says:

      My question exactly. Is it because she’s a celebrity? What about apologizing to all the civil right and social justice leaders making a difference today. The little rich white girl will be just fine.

  5. Joey says:

    This, like so many ads, could have been prevented by anyone with even half a lick of common sense. The sad thing is that these advertising agencies that are contracted probably require a master’s degree in marketing or something to join.

  6. Let me think, this can only be USA, you can shot or stab some1 on tv shows and Is no problem but an ad is to much for usa.

  7. David Hess says:

    They shouldn’t apologize to Kendall Jenner, if she and Pepsi didn’t realize the problem then that’s all of their faults respectively. Although some would argue that controversy is the ultimate publicity, so you can’t rule this out as a stunt.

  8. Lynn says:

    They got their money’s worth, a lot more people are talking about Pepsi today then ever would have been. Any publicity is good publicity right? Yeah it was stupid but I’m certainly not going to stop drinking Pepsi because of it. All the garbage they show on TV these days and this is what people are offended over.

    • Adam says:

      I feel like the “any publicity is good publicity” is only true if you’re first trying to establish yourself. Pepsi is pretty established. At a certain level, bad publicity is just bad publicity – especially in this day in age when complaints can be vocalized on social media and any negative news article is going to stay in the top Google hits whenever someone searches your brand.

    • Aeol says:

      Pepsi sucks anyway, Coke for life!!!

  9. Cas says:

    As a liberal I did not find it offensive. I thought the message was along the lines of we may be on different sides but we can still be civil and have stuff in common. I agree Kendall wasn’t even really necessary as the ad would have been fine without her. Maybe we should all try to calm down a bit. It was a damn ad.

    • Aeol says:

      I’m a black woman, and a liberal, and from my perspective it was at best insensitive and indulgent, at worst offensive. Many every day activists, most of them black, have been on the front lines of social justice for decades. Then, lo and behold, the day is saved by the white girl bearing Pepsi. It LITERALLY co-opts a very well-known photo of a black woman presenting to police. That’s probably what stings the most. These KarJenners LIVE for co-opting black culture, splashing their box braids and black boyfriends and urban “style” all over social media, but when an innocent black man is killed or refugee children are turned away at the border, not a peep on their twitter accounts. But as soon as there was a paycheck, here comes the social conscience of Kendall Jenner! PUH LEEZ

      • c-mo says:

        I completely agree with you and I’m neither black nor a liberal!

      • Jenna says:

        I completely agree with you about the ad being bonkers offensive with how it clearly coopted that photo and just minimized and dismissed the importance of these protests and movements, it was idiotic. However, I do think at least from what I have seen, Kim K and Kanye (I know not a Kardashian but he’s her husband so he’s part of the clan) are more vocal than many celebrities about black lived matter/Racial injustice etc., both on social media and in Kanyes music. He also was the only one with the balls after Katrina to say on national tv that George Bush didn’t care about black people lol

  10. Kerri says:

    The ad was confusing and dumb anyway.

  11. Piers says:

    “missed the mark”? That’s a masterpiece of understatement.

  12. Hussman says:

    Two ads that are known to be laughing hysterically now at Pepsi’s fate are the Amazon Prime ad from last year where the entire Christian-Muslim issue is boiled down to them buying kneepads for each other, and the Coke ad from 1971 where the cast-offs from a Bennetton ad get together and sing the world to peaceful resolution and Coke drinking.

  13. Merrilee Miller says:

    Anything to do with a Jenner or kardashian I find offensive.

  14. Any thing that has a Jenner or Kardashian, I find offensive.

  15. Diana Bardwell says:

    People need to calm down. Its an ad people complain about silly things like this. They need to spend time better, worry about hungry children, the confition of lifr of the elderly. Maybe the could try smiling and enjoying life

    • Hannah says:

      I never understand why people try to make this argument. Because there are children who are starving, people can’t voice their opinions about insensitive and problematic messaging that they see? That’s like saying I can’t be annoyed when my phone is stolen because there are people dying of cancer. Just because there are issues seen as more dire than others doesn’t diminish the validity of the latter.

  16. Billy Bob Johnson says:

    Whenever that clan is involved, stupidity is sure to follow.

  17. did they “miss the mark” or was this all planned from the beginning?

  18. william says:

    Pepsi does have power! It had so much power that it set Michael Jackson on fire.

  19. kitsunesaru says:

    Canadian stations didn’t get the memo apparently. They were still playing it up here. It came on and I was like “….. why is this playing after it’s been pulled?”

  20. julia gillum says:

    It does not matter what anyone does there is somebody crying with hurt feelings.

  21. Billy Bob Johnson says:

    They also need to apologize for hiring Jenner in the first place. Can the entertainment world please lose their fascination with all things Kardashian???

  22. elessar7 says:

    Much ado about nothing. Seriously there are far worse things going on in the US that should get way more attention that this yet it’s led on several news sites in the last day or so.

  23. craigc2210 says:

    Just a bunch of SNOWFLAKES trying to cause as much chaos and confusion as possible. There is nothing wrong with this ad!!!