Kendall Jenner's New Pepsi Campaign Sparks Controversy

Posted on April 5, 2017

Kendall Jenner stars in a new ad for Pepsi called the "Live For Now Moments Anthem." The ad is part of Pepsi's "Moments" campaign. It features the song "Lions" by Skip Marley. The ad has quickly garnered over 1 million views.

The ad has ignited a controversy with critics saying Pepsi is trying to capitalize on movements like Black Lives Matter. CNN reports that some believe the imagery Pepsi uses is too similar to photos of protester Ieshia Evans. Pepsi says in a release that the ad "features multiple lives, stories and emotional connections that show passion, joy, unbound and uninhibited moments."

Kendall says in a statement, "I am thrilled to join the legendary roster of icons who have represented their generations and worked with Pepsi. To me, Pepsi is more than just a beverage- it registers as a pop culture icon & a lifestyle that shares a voice with the generation of today. The spirit of Pepsi- living in the 'now' moment- is one that I believe in. I make a conscious effort in my everyday life and travels to enjoy every experience of today."

Pepsi had to be aware the campaign would spark some criticism with its upbeat portrayal of a march and confrontation between marchers and police. The wistful ad has Kendall handing a Pespi to a police officer during a peaceful rally. It begins with her at a fashion shoot before she decides to join the youthful demonstration taking place on the street nearby.

Update: The backlash has caused Pepsi to delete its video. Pepsi has pulled the campaign video from YouTube. It had quickly garnered over 1.2 million views on YouTube. Variety reports that Kendall was the first model since Cindy Crawford to land her own global Pepsi campaign.

Pepsi said in a statement, "Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace, and understanding. 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."

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