• A screenshot from Kendall Jenner's new controversial advert for Pepsi. (Pepsi / Twitter.)
"Thank you Kendall Jenner for letting us know that the only way to end police brutality is with an ice cold Pepsi."
By
Chloe Sargeant

5 Apr 2017 - 3:04 PM  UPDATED 5 Apr 2017 - 3:15 PM

Kendall Jenner is the first model to have her own global Pepsi campaign since the iconic adverts with Cindy Crawford in 1992. However, Jenner's video campaign for the beverage came out today, and the social media backlash has been swift, and unmerciful.

In the advert, you see Jenner modelling in a photoshoot, wearing a blonde wig. A protest march is streaming past her, and she makes eye contact with a protestor who nods, encouraging her to join in. She grabs a can of Pepsi, and makes her way through the crowd of happy protestors to hand the can to a policeman. He smiles and turns to another policeman, making an expression that seems to imply, "maybe we should join in". 

The reaction to the video has been overwhelmingly negative on social media. The video has widely been called 'tone-deaf', and many have accused Pepsi and Jenner of appropriating important protest movements in order to sell cola.

Many have noted that the faux-protest also appears to co-opt the Black Lives Matter movement and the major issue of police brutality towards black people in the United States.

Some have also mentioned that the ad seems to copy the well-known image of Black Lives Matter protester Ieshia Evans being arrested by police, during a Black Lives Matter protest in Baton Rouge, after the tragic death of Alton Sterling.

Many commentators have spoken online about the tone-deaf idea that a peaceful resolution to all kinds of harmful bigotry and violence can come by handing a police officer a can of Pepsi. 

Pepsi and Kendall Jenner are yet to make a statement in response to the large amount of criticism to the advertisement. 

COMMENT: Protests and parades: on being queer and Indigenous
Dr Sandy O'Sullivan first attended the Mardi Gras parade 32 years ago, and reflects on some of the growth and change she has seen in this time.
Feminine power: 6 times female-led protests changed the world
Since the suffragettes, women have used their collective power to protest against inequality.
24 celebs who don't seem to get that wearing black hairstyles is cultural appropriation
Alternate title: All your faves are problematic.
What's the big deal with cultural appropriation?
When does appreciating a culture cross the line into appropriating it?