Pepsi likely didn’t imagine its latest ad, about a protest, would make it the target of one.
But when offended viewers took to social media to rage over the commercial, the soda titan spun on its heels.
“Pepsi was trying to project a global a message of unity, peace and understanding,” the company said in a tweeted 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.”
The ad, which featured the celebrity model quelling a protest by handing Pepsi to the gathered police, has been sharply criticized for appropriating and trivializing imagery associated with serious and often violent historical events, like the US civil rights movement.
The move reverses Pepsi’s earlier stance that “This is 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.”
Pepsi did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.