Pepsi Is Defending Its Controversial Kendall Jenner Ad

April 5, 2017, 2:13 PM UTC

Despite the backlash, Pepsi is defending its latest ad that features its newest spokesperson, Kendall Jenner.

“This is a global ad that reflects people from different walks of life coming together in a spirit of harmony, and we think that’s an important message to convey,” Pepsi said in a statement.

The ad, which is titled “Live For Now Moments Anthem,” shows the 21-year-old supermodel leaving a photo shoot to join a protest. Toward the end, she hands a police officer a can of soda, and he takes a drink. Her fellow protestors then erupt in cheers.

Critics have faulted the ad for exploiting Black Lives Matter and anti-Donald Trump messages. Both Jenner and Pepsi drew backlash on social media, and some Twitter users have compared the ad — albeit unfavorably—to the viral “Taking a Stand in Baton Rouge” photo.

Here are some of the reactions:

“The creative showcases a moment of unity, and a point where multiple storylines converge in the final advert,” Pepsi said in an earlier statement to Teen Vogue. “It depicts various groups of people embracing a spontaneous moment, and showcasing Pepsi’s brand rallying cry to ‘Live For Now,’ in an exploration of what that truly means to live life unbounded, unfiltered and uninhibited.”

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