Pepsi has pulled its controversial protest advert featuring Kendall Jenner

And she is said to be ‘devastated’

Kendall Jenner style
(Image credit: Rex Features (Shutterstock))

And she is said to be ‘devastated’

Pepsi released its new ad campaign this week, a video advert featuring Kendall Jenner.

While intending to empower and 'reflect people from different walks of life coming together in the spirit of harmony’, the Kendall Jenner Pepsi advert was immediately deemed offensive, and after a huge social media backlash, even Pepsi admitted that it ‘missed the mark’, pulling the advert just yesterday.

The video in question features model Kendall Jenner leaving a photo shoot to take part in a huge protest, diffusing a stand off with a line of armed police by handing one (very handsome) police man a can of Pepsi.

Since its release, the video has been heavily criticised, accused of trivialising protests and giving an unrealistic portrayal of riots. Even Kendall's uncomfortable way of holding her Pepsi can drew comments.

The ad especially came under fire for mimicking a moment from the Black Lives Matter protest last year. The shot of Kendall approaching the police with a can of Pepsi can be seen as a recreation of the poignant moment in the Black Lives Matter protest of 2016 when 18-year-old protester Ieshia Evans stood peacefully against a line of armed riot police, following the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling.

Appearing to recreate such a powerful moment in order to sell fizzy drinks was never going to go down well, and sure enough the Internet destroyed Pepsi with tweets and cutting memes.

High profile figures from Martin Luther King Jr’s daughter to Madonna took to their social media accounts to voice their outrage, with Bernice King posting a photo of her father, Martin Luther King Jr to Twitter, captioning the troubling image of protest, ‘If only Daddy would have known about the power of #Pepsi’.

A photo posted by on

Following the outrage, Pepsi chose yesterday to withdraw the new ad campaign, formally apologising for any offense caused.

‘Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding. Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologise. We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are pulling the content and halting any further rollout.’

‘We also apologise for putting Kendall Jenner in this position’ Pepsi’s statement continued, referencing the barrage of abuse that the model has received since the advert’s release.

Kendall has yet to comment on the turn of events but is said to be ‘devastated’.

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.