Pepsi has given up trying to defend what some people are calling the worst ad of all time. The company has pulled its widely ridiculed ad featuring Kendall Jenner as a model who joins a protest and hands a can of Pepsi to a riot cop, the AP reports. "Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace, and understanding," the company said in a statement. "Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologize." Pepsi also apologized to Jenner for putting her "in this position." The ad, which showed protesters with signs like "Join the Conversation," was strongly criticized for hijacking the imagery of real protest movements like Black Lives Matter to sell soft drinks.
Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., delivered one of the most powerful criticisms, tweeting a photo of her father being pushed back by police at a protest march and quipping: "If only Daddy would have known about the power of #Pepsi." Stephen Colbert was among the late-night hosts poking fun at the ad on Wednesday, the Independent reports. "We have a deeply divided nation," said the Late Show host. "But today, it seems that everyone has come together to join the protest against the new protest ad from Pepsi." He described the "Join the Conversation" banner as "the most corporate message ever."