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Pepsi pulls controversial Kendall Jenner advert

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Pepsi has removed its latest advert starring Kendall Jenner after accusations that the corporation was trivialising police brutality and undermining the Black Lives Matter movement.

The advert saw the 21-year-old model defuse a protest simply by handing a police officer a can of Pepsi.

<i>Pepsi’s new ad has been pulled after a huge backlash on social media [Photo: Pepsi]</i>
Pepsi’s new ad has been pulled after a huge backlash on social media [Photo: Pepsi]

It was released on Tuesday evening but is now no longer available to watch on the brand’s YouTube page.

In a statement, Pepsi apologised, saying “we clearly missed the mark. Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding. We did not intend to make light of any serious issue.”

Pepsi also apologised “for putting Kendall Jenner in this position” after a huge backlash on social media saw the star criticised for agreeing to appear in the tone-deaf ad.

<i>Kendall Jenner is said to be “devastated” [Photo: Pepsi]</i>
Kendall Jenner is said to be “devastated” [Photo: Pepsi]

Protests against the violent treatment of black people by the police have been ongoing in America for almost two years. Pepsi’s ad appeared to directly reference 18-year-old protester Leshia Evans’ brave move which ended with her arrest at a Louisiana riot in 2015.

Prominent members of the civil rights movement spoke out against Pepsi’s brainless move with Martin Luther King Jr’s daughter Bernice tweeting: “If only Daddy would have known about the power of Pepsi.”

Pepsi initially defended the short film, saying it “reflects people from different walks of life coming together in a spirit of harmony.”

Kendall is yet to make a comment on the issue but has since deleted all social media posts promoting her multi-million dollar involvement in the ad.

According to a source, the model is “devastated” by the reaction. “This is the first controversial campaign she has been involved with,” they told ET Online. “Even though she had nothing to do with the production and the message of the campaign, she will be blamed for this since she is the face.”

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