April 05, 2017
Pepsi, aiming for an audience of politically motivated millennials, essentially shot itself in the foot when it released an ad featuring new spokesperson Kendall Jenner on Tuesday.
BREAKING: Pepsi says it's pulling widely mocked ad
The ad features Jenner modeling in a doorway and noticing a group of unusually bright and cheery protesters marching down the street. Jenner decides to join the protesters and hands a police officer a Pepsi.
Critics have panned the ad as "tone-deaf," arguing it essentially appropriates the legitimate concerns of those who've demonstrated for issues like police brutality and racial bias in an effort to sell sugar water.
In Philly, the criticism on social media had a very specific spin to it. Since the city's 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks went into effect this year to fund a universal pre-K program, Pepsi has been among those leading the charge against it.
In March, the company sent notices to employees of around 100 upcoming layoffs because of decreased sales from the tax, and later that month, Pepsi said it was pulling 12-packs and 2-liter bottles from Philly stores.
So when Pepsi's ad fell flat on its face, the soda tax jokes — and legitimate gripes — about the company rolled in:
Reminder Pepsi has enough money to pay Kendall Jenner for a crappy ad but somehow can't pay their workers and blames the soda tax.— Dena Driscoll (@bikemamadelphia) April 5, 2017
Pepsi managed to make the soda tax look cool.— Spence Whitney (@SpenceWhitney) April 5, 2017
Who drinks @pepsi anyway? Ain't there a soda tax somewhere? I can use generic cola for my chaser.— CERSEI CANNISTER (@EMCEE_PHATTUMS) April 5, 2017
#PEPSI: same co. that said "we're cutting a bunch of jobs in Philly but if you drop your soda tax we maaay change our minds." They're scum— Christine (@christinehlmtg) April 5, 2017
If Pepsi hadn't wasted so much money fighting Philly's soda tax, it wouldn't have had to make that commercial in the first place.— Brian P. Hickey (@BrianPHickey) April 5, 2017
…and to think Pepsi has been threatening to lay off local employees due to the Philly beverage tax.— Mr. Philadelphia (@OJPhilly) April 5, 2017