Pepsi and Kendall Jenner have been left red-faced after the soft drink company was forced to pull its latest commercial featuring the model and TV personality within 24 hours of its release due to a massive public backlash across the globe.
In case you missed the ad, here it is in all its excruciating glory:
Pepsi said in a statement that it was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding in the ad, which has been removed on YouTube.
“Clearly, we missed the mark, and we apologise. We did not intend to make light of any serious issue,” the statement read.
“We are removing the content and halting any further rollout. We also apologise for putting Kendall Jenner in this position.”
The commercial has been widely described as “cringeworthy”, with some dubbing it the “worst ad ever”.
The public ridicule of the ad seems to mostly around the idea that a can of soft drink can cure the world’s ills, even worse a can of soft drink held by a member of the Kardashian family.
Kendall Jenner gives a Pepsi to a cop and rids the world of -isms. Y’all can go somewhere with this tone-deaf, shallow and over-produced ad. pic.twitter.com/CEr4cAw3Ld
— Taryn Finley (@_TARYNitUP) April 4, 2017
— Gabriela B. (@Gabyte_B) April 5, 2017
— Daniel | دانيال (@DaniTheAvenger2) April 5, 2017
— Lorrie Goldstein (@sunlorrie) April 6, 2017
Police brutality and police treatment of Afro Americans is also a hot topic in the US at the moment, and Twitter users were quick to note that a can of Pepsi won’t solve the issue.
A can of soda doesn’t fix this. pic.twitter.com/7KeDghtMYb
— My (@My_75224) April 5, 2017
— The Independent (@Independent) April 5, 2017
Others have pointed out the ad bares an uncomfortable similarity to the famous image of American woman Leshia Evans confronting police during race riots in Louisiana in July 2016.
— JR The Darkskin (@iamjtune) April 5, 2017
One Twitter user looked back to when Pepsi used ads to promote its wold famous soft drink rather than an agenda.
— Corryn Mobley (@Corrynmb) April 5, 2017
It’s not the first time Pepsi has had to pull an ad due to public backlash, having removed a Mountain Dew commercial in 2013 after it was dubbed the “most racist commercial ever”.