Washington (WP, NYTimes) - You know what's good? Soda. You know what else is good? Beliefs. Causes. Movements.
Pepsi was mocked on Twitter after a new advertisement out on Tuesday (April 4) married these generic concepts and compared model Kendall Jenner to a Black Lives Matter protester who became a national symbol after facing down police officers in riot gear.
The controversial ad contains images of young, attractive people marching through the streets, a cello player strumming away sweatily and a hijab-wearing woman becoming frustrated with her arts and crafts project.
Its story arc shows Jenner, a 21-year-old star of the reality television show Keeping Up With The Kardashians, transforming from a model in a tin foil garment to a protester sporting an all-denim getup and drinking Pepsi. It ends with her solving a crisis by giving a police officer a can of soda, as the hijab-wearing woman catches the moment on camera.
Pepsi is among several brands in recent years that have faced criticism online for insensitive marketing or products.
Nivea set off a controversy this week with an ad featuring the phrase "White is purity", finding itself accused of racial insensitivity over a campaign that seemed to be embraced by white supremacists. Beiersdorf, the German company that owns the skin care brand, has since deleted the ad.
In 2014, after criticism online, Zara stopped selling children's shirts with stripes and a star that bore a striking resemblance to uniforms given at Nazi concentration camps. The clothing retailer from Spain also withdrew handbags featuring green swastikas.