PepsiCo pulled a controversial commercial featuring model Kendall Jenner on Wednesday after the ad prompted outrage over its trivialisation of protests and unrest in the United States.
The ad, released late on Tuesday shows Jenner, a fashion celebrity and reality TV star, in a photo shoot, when she sees nearby protest march. Removing her wig and makeup, she joins the crowd, and hands a baseball cap-wearing police officer a can of Pepsi, prompting him to smile while marchers cheer and hug.
“Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding, the company said in a statement. “Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologise. We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are removing the content and halting any further rollout.”
A representative for Jenner did not return a call for comment.
The spot drew harsh criticism on Twitter, with users of the social media platform saying the ad belittled anti-police violence protests that have taken place over the last few years in cities, including Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore, following police killings of unarmed black men and women.