Pepsi Commercial Controversy
May 11, 2017
A Pepsi commercial was canceled for being heavily criticized as being influenced and inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement which protests against the killings of AfricanAmericans by the police. Pepsi came forward and made a statement April 5th on the controversial ad 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.” Understandably the company did not want to bring light to an issue that does need to be talked about but was misinterpreted and criticized by many. The ad does raise questions on how they were trying to present the product as many people in the video are seen laughing, clapping, hugging, high-fiving, and even officers in uniform smiling. The company could have presented their product in a more sensible manner due to the seriousness of the situation it was believed to bring light too. Many protesters who have marched with the Black Lives Matter movement have stated numerous times stating that it is the exact opposite than how it is in reality. Elle Hearns, the executive director of the Marsha P. Johnson Institute and formerly an organizer for Black Lives Matter, Stated, “plays down the sacrifices people have historically taken in utilizing protests. […] No one is finding joy from Pepsi at a protest. That’s just not the reality of our lives. That’s not what it looks like to take bold action. “(New York Times, Pepsi Pulls Ad Accused of Trivializing Black Lives Matter, Victor, 4-5-17). Further statements have been made by Pepsi apologizing to many who may have taken offense to the ad such as Ms. Jenner, a daughter of the television personalities Kris and Caitlyn Jenner, and a half-sister to Kim, Khloé, and Kourtney Kardashian. (New York Times, Pepsi Pulls Ad Accused of Trivializing Black Lives Matter, Victor, 4-5-17). The story has yet to develop further as the ad has been pulled and statements have already been made.