Pepsi and Kendall Jenner

April has just been a bad month for companies and their Public Relations teams. United Airlines had the mishap with the overbooked flight incident and just recently American Airlines had an incident in which a baby was almost hit by a flight attendant. While most of these controversies only pertain to airlines, other companies were not immune from receiving backlash this month. Just ask Pepsi about it.

Earlier in the month, Pepsi released a new advertisement featuring Kendall Jenner titled “Live for Now Moments Anthem”. Within 24 hours of the ad being released, it was taken down amidst widespread controversy for the overall message and sentiment of said advertisement. While Pepsi has said that they merely missed the mark with their intentions, that has done very little to contain the flames of the controversy.

For those that are unaware of what happens in the ad, a group of protesters are marching toward police who stand in place to block the protesters. The protesters feature many different people of various backgrounds and color all joining in solidarity to march. Kendall Jenner is portrayed in the video as a model who has her photo shoot interrupted by the protestors. In the end, she joins the protesters and engages with the police by giving one officer a Pepsi can to drink.

The reason why this advertisement has gained controversy is due to how it minimizes the Black Lives Matter movement. News outlets have shown what happens in a Black Lives Matter protest and it is not at all as vibrant and carefree as the Pepsi ad, not by a longshot. Police officers have riot gear on while the protests are more chaotic and emotionally fumed.

What is even more controversial is how Pepsi used the blueprint of what happens in these protests to practically use some cheap product placement. The image of Kendall Jenner giving a Pepsi to the officer is just laughably bad. Luckily the Internet is around the help meme that moment for us to look back on and laugh with a smile. Pepsi, you took an L for that advertisement.

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