Pepsi’s Costly PR Blunder

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Chris Gaydon, staff writer

Pepsi is one of the most recognizable brands in the world, and for good reason. Refreshing Pepsi products are sold all around the world and anyone you ask is likely to know the famous cola brand. Pepsi’s most recent commercial, however, has made them even more famous for reasons that are less than desirable.

   This latest video advertisement, which premiered on YouTube, shows celebrity Kendall Jenner walking through a crowd of peaceful protestors holding signs to a stoic riot officer, to whom she proffers a can of Pepsi. The officer cracks a smile and takes a sip of the drink, and the crowd cheers and summarily stops their protesting.

   Pepsi obviously meant to convey a message of peace and unity, but many did not take the advertisement in that way. Many activists across the country have accused the advertisement of trivializing various protest movements and discrediting the dangers and frustration they face in protesting. Pepsi swiftly took the advertisement down in response, stating, “Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding. Clearly, we missed the mark and apologize. We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are pulling the content and halting any further rollout.” Of course, the removal of the video didn’t quell the anger associated with it, as the damage had already been done.

   Pepsi has never had an incident quite like this befall them in the past, so it remains to be seen what they will attempt to do to make amends for their potentially offensive commercial. However, it is clear that they will be more sensitive in future advertisements.