New York, April 6 (IANS) Pepsi pulled a controversial advertisement after it triggered an immediate online backlash for using protest imagery to market the soft drink, media reports said.
“Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding. Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologize,” CNN quoted the company as saying in a statement on Wednesday.
“We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are removing the content and halting any further rollout,” it added.
The ad, which also features model and reality TV star Kendall Jenner, shows her participating in a photo shoot before joining a group of protesters and offering a Pepsi to a stoic police officer.
The soda company also apologized to Jenner herself for putting her “in this position”.
The ad was accused of appropriating the Black Lives Matter movement and using social justice to sell soda.
Bernice King, a daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., was among those who commented on the tone-deaf nature of the ad.
“If only Daddy would have known about the power of #Pepsi,” she tweeted, with a black-and-white photo of her father being confronted by a highway patrol officer.