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Has Pepsi acted fast enough to keep its fizz?

Penny Brooks

6th April 2017

Pepsi have gained a very high profile in the last day or so, but for all the wrong reasons as they have pulled an advert they had put out featuring Kendall Jenner. The ad shows her leaving a photo shoot to join a street protest, which she promptly defuses by handing a policeman a can of Pepsi. The storyline has been criticised for trivialising recent street protests in the US. You can see the ad, and read a rather damning scene-by-scene critique of it here. It highlights the dangers that brands face when they try to engage their target audience, and, as the company said in their apologetic statement, they miss the mark. 

Pepsi have received some positive comment for their quick action in pulling the ad within 24 hours of posting it. And it's not the first time they have met controversy with the celebrities they have chosen to endorse their products. In 1984 they set fire to Michael Jackson's hair while shooting a Pepsi commercial, and in 2002 they had to withdraw thousands of cans and bottles of 7Up (another Pepsi product) which featured Northern Ireland footballer Roy Keane and the slogan 'Clearly there's no substitute' when Keane was sent home from the Japan/Korea World Cup squad after a very public row with Northern Ireland Mick McCarthy. All over Ireland, people were defacing 7Up's Roy Keane posters and other publicity material. 

Not only Pepsi face these problems: here's a quick run-down of some of the worst 'advertising fails'.here's a quick run-down of some of the worst 'advertising fails'.

Penny Brooks

Formerly Head of Business and Economics and now Economics teacher, Business and Economics blogger and presenter for Tutor2u, and private tutor

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