People: Kendall Jenner will ‘lay low’ following the Pepsi commercial backlash


Kendall Jenner appears in a commercial for Pepsi

New York Magazine’s The Cut did a great piece over the weekend where they asked advertising professionals to weigh in on the Kendall Jenner-Pepsi commercial, the ad which bombed so hard last week. You can read The Cut’s piece here. I learned some new stuff from the piece, like Pepsi organized this in-house, without an outside ad agency. Most advertising professionals believe that Pepsi started with the idea of “Kendall Jenner is hot right now, let’s build an ad around her” and since there were no (or few) diverse voices at the decision-making table, a terrible idea became a reality.

Anyway, Kendall’s “brand” has been hurt by the controversy too. It’s not just Pepsi taking the hit – many people wonder how and why Kendall was so clueless. She’s been “hiding out” (not really) and her mother, Lucifer’s Homegirl, has been leaking all sort of sympathetic quotes to People Magazine.

Kendall Jenner is staying out of the spotlight while the controversy surrounding her protest-themed Pepsi commercial, which was retracted by the brand following backlash, dies down. After returning to Los Angeles from Paris on Friday, the 21-year-old model is taking it easy and leaning on her family.

“Kendall is still not happy about the controversy,” a source tells PEOPLE. “She plans on laying low until things calm down. She still talks about it a lot and has support from her family. She is spending a quiet weekend with her family.”

“[Kendall] has been in constant communication with her mom and sisters,” a Keeping Up with the Kardashians source previously told PEOPLE. “Everyone is being very supportive and ready to give advice. Kendall is young and certainly not used to being involved in such controversy.”

The source continued, “She has been very upset. She feels terrible. She loves being a model. To get a Pepsi gig was a big deal. She was very excited. She never expected it to receive such backlash. She hopes people understand that she wasn’t involved in the creative process.”

“Kendall loves modeling,” the source said. “She just wants to do a good job. She has no desire to be a part of something controversial. She is very aware of the backlash and [is] not happy. They are coming up with a plan on how to deal with it. She has been talking to [her mother Kris Jenner] about it.”

[From People]

I mean… what do you expect her to do, really? I still believe that Pepsi should take the brunt of the criticism. As for people asking why Kendall didn’t realize how controversial and tone-deaf this would be… have you ever read her interviews or watched her on the E! show? The girl is dumb as a bag of Kardashian weaves. Of course she didn’t understand the implications or the messaging. So what will be done, long term? I have no idea if we’re supposed to stay mad at Kendall or whatever. I think she’ll be “low key” for a few weeks, then she’ll go back to being the same old Kendall.

Also: SNL’s skit about this probably won’t help! I actually thought SNL was dead-on with this, down to Cecily Strong’s Kendall thinking it was “cute.”

41st Olivier Awards

Screencaps courtesy of WENN/Pepsi.

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55 Responses to “People: Kendall Jenner will ‘lay low’ following the Pepsi commercial backlash”

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  1. Maria F. says:

    I do not think she is at fault, but it is not a good brand imagine to not say anything and just go into hiding. Makes her look like a money grabber and coward.

  2. lisa says:

    or because everyone noticed her fake lips

  3. Pumpkin Pie says:

    Why is that ad still on YT? I have JUST watched it, it’s on the kendall and kylie YT channel.

  4. Mia4s says:

    Bull. Absolute BS. She made a huge pay check off this. Until I see a substantial charitable donation I don’t believe a word about her “upset”. She’s as gross as the rest of her family.

  5. QQ says:

    LMFAO Yep That SNL skit is exactly what I was Talking about …At so many points they musta wiped their behinds with Critical Thinking Is not even funny

    • Brittney B says:

      Right?!

      And the sad thing is… it probably isn’t even much of a satire. I’m sure the exact same thing goes down with movie/TV/advertising executives all the time. They get feedback from actual women and people of color, but then they dance in circles to ignore the feedback, because they already have tunnel vision. Instead of spending time and money adjusting their message to be more inclusive, they spend time and money seeking out peers/focus groups that will tell them they’re on the right track. See: Ghost in the Shell.

  6. Bridget says:

    Kendall Jenner normally wouldn’t merit a Pepsi ad, it’s no wonder she jumped. That article was really interesting, and even with the way they apologized you can tell that someone at Pepsi thinks this girl is the bee’s knees.

    The part that’s interesting to me is that Pepsi must be desperately trying to appeal to younger consumers, and felt that this was definitely the way to go.

  7. Alleycat says:

    I’m not sure why we are supposed to be coddling her. Obviously Pepsi came up with this idea, but the girl acted out these scenes. Ignorance is not an excuse. She’s not a child or a starving model eager to work. People should be criticizing the heck out of her and I hope her brand declines. Also, holy smokes does she look different in that commercial. She’s starting to look more like her mom now that she’s getting more surgery.

    • teacakes says:

      Her face looks legit weird to me, her lips look like they’re made of rubber in that wig pic.

      It’ll be amusing to see if she’ll book high fashion jobs with an increasingly jacked face – but since enough brands have proven that they put social media follower counts ahead of ability to actually pose or make a facial expression, it’s likely yes.

  8. Anitas says:

    She’s making this all about her of course, just as expected. No sympathy at all for this talentless idiot. She and the rest of her family are making a fortune on appropriating cultures, being ignorant and often outrageous, but at times when it backfires we’re supposed to shrug and let it go just because she’s dumb. Selfish assholes don’t get a pass just because they also happen to be imbeciles.

  9. Tiffany says:

    Wow, she really is shocked that people are giving her crap about this commercial. Good, ya idiot.

  10. Miss Grace Jones says:

    Realllllllly goes to show how infantilezed and coddled white women are that there are still treating Kendall like a child who didn’t know any better. I’m going to be her age in July but as a black woman who’s dark skinned on top of that, I’ve never been given the grace of being protected from racism or misogynoir and have been taught from a young age out of necessity of police brutality. If black women and children aren’t allowed to be protected from racism because of their age or the events of the day white women shouldn’t coddled regarding their actions. I’ve had to participate in multiple walkouts at my school doing real protests talking about real issues that affect me as a muslim, as a black woman and have had to listen to the pain of other women like me, and trans women and men who also face deportation because of the ICE crackdowns and who has had to deal with the fact that one of my friend’s father was kidnapped by ICE on top of having to worry about whether or not my boyfriend who I love and who loves me so deeply might be sent backto Russia which he says is like a prison. These protests were cathartic places to release our angers and fears and confront trump supporters face to face and the administration. We were all able to come together in healing and getting to know each other and becoming warm with people we may never have spoken to otherwise. But it was not something we did just for fun.

    Anyway UGH.

    • Lauren says:

      They don’t call it white woman tears for no reason. Happens all the time in my courses. People rush to defend white women when their feelings are hurt. No one rushes to defend me though with my blackness or my physical disability or any of my black sister’s.

      One of my black profs actually got reported to the office of student conduct for daring to make her woman studies course read an article called ‘white fragility’. She got countless emails from the white students about the unfairness of it all. And also how they did not like topic of colonialism or the Aboriginal speaker she brought in to talk about her people. Funny how these same students are the ones who don’t bat an eyelash about a lot of the articles that had racist things to say about other races. And these are also the same students that give the african literature prof in the English department bad ratings every year because his course teaches too much African Literature. Can’t make this stuff up.

  11. rachel says:

    She’s making all of this mess about her. Poor Kandull, and her poor white feelings.

  12. Sam says:

    My cousin works for an ad agency in NYC and yea this one is all on Pepsi. It all started because someone high up in Pepsi wanted Kendall to be in the commercial. So then they thought hey what are millennials into right now? And came up with the protesting (yes I know…how ridiculous) so they drew up this commercial. They didn’t consult an ad agency about it and to no one’s surprise not a single POC was in on the meetings. Pretty much an old white guy wanted Kendall to be in a Pepsi commercial and this is what they came up with.

    • teacakes says:

      The extent of the BTS tone-deafness is almost hilarious.

      and even if they had any POC in the room/anyone with an actual awareness of BLM, I’ll bet money that person wasv likely junior, too scared to speak up to the bosses and be ‘THAT’ person (this is why representation and non-tokenism matters!)

  13. teacakes says:

    I did snicker at the part where the ad professional said this was going to damage her ‘brand’ lol.

    Surplus Kardashian here certainly isn’t going to look credible fronting anything with ‘be authentic’/'be yourself’ messaging from now on because Pepsi leaked that she was offered approval on the ad and didn’t bother – nice way of making it clear she was a paid shill and nothing else.

    Also she was apparently supposed to get paid every time it aired, so bye to that as well. It’ll be just a matter of time before some other dumb brand puts instagram followers ahead of optics and hires her, though.

    • Bridget says:

      I’m actually waiting to see if the data supports Instagram followers making a spokesperson being more valuable. We’ve already seen this with Twitter – it definitely doesn’t mean that people will buy your stuff. And I can’t help but think that the Kardashians are in their decline.

      • teacakes says:

        Yes, I want to see the receipts too – sure, they have millions of followers but does that translate into anything for the bottom line?

        Re your last sentence – one can only hope. They’ve only come this far in the first place because of Kanye (who is the reason they are allowed in Vogue and not shilling hair extensions and cheap crap now) . If one of them hooks another famous man, especially one connected with the fashion industry like Kanye, we’ll never bloody see the end of them.

        But I could do with them ending, I’d like to be able to look at my fashion mags again without recoiling from those blank eyes and plastic faces.

      • Bridget says:

        Younger followers also aren’t really the coveted fashion demographic – they’re basically just laying the ground work, hoping that these will become the aspirational brands for these young women. But they don’t buy much beyond a little bit of makeup (I know very few young women who own the bags/perfume/accessories of real fashion brands). Not to mention the way the Kardashians devalue whatever you’re selling to everyone else.

        Anyhoo, it’s an interesting question. It’s easy to click “Follow”, and doesn’t often denote more than a cursory interest. Yes, it’s a way of reaching a very targeted audience, but still I’m very skeptical about the role of Instagram/blogging Influencers.

  14. Bobby the K says:

    She’s an adult, made a choice of her own free will. Is 100% responsible for the outcome, and whatever response she does or doesn’t make.

  15. TheOtherOne says:

    People is reporting Kylie just got a spin off show. God, just make it stop!!!!

  16. Nancy says:

    A “quiet weekend” at that house is an oxymoron. Remember six months ago when Kim was never going on social media again and badda bing, the first episode is Paris. I do believe at long last their expiration date is upon us. Fingers crossed.

  17. bacondonut says:

    a normal family would just mercilessly tease and poke at the humilated fool, bringing up the Epic Fail at every single family get together and holiday till Kingdom come.

    The Kardashians are different. They’d probably milk the entire build up and subsequent fallout in a “dramatic” one month special and subject us to Kendull’s journey into therapy

  18. Ninks says:

    Besides the massively tone deaf aspect of the ad, the big take away for me was just how ordinary looking Kendall is. She barely stood out from the extras in the crowd scenes. There’s nothing stunning or supermodel worthy about her. I knew that already, but that ad really hammered it home to me.

    • MellyMel says:

      Yep this was my thought too. She was just very bland and dead behind the eyes.

    • minx says:

      She’s tall and slender, that’s about it, but so are a million other girls. She has a famous father, her half sister made a sex tape and her mother has p!mped out the entire family. Those are only the reasons she’s where she is.

    • jwoolman says:

      Kendall isn’t bright enough or deep enough to really know what happened or why. She is just very limited. A deeper person her age and color might also have been caught unawares but would have been able to understand what people were finding objectionable when it was explained, and then maybe made a simple apology for not realizing it herself (not groveling, she just made a mistake out of ignorance) and thanked people for explaining it. The people at Pepsi should be the real target, people are annoyed with Kendall because those damned shows and her whole family are so annoying. She’s young, she made a bad judgment call due to lack of experience, she’s losing a bunch of money as a result. I would suggest we forget about Kendall and keep blasting Pepsi.

      People are probably also annoyed with Kendall because she has family and friends of African heritage and so it might be assumed she would be more aware. But her family and friends are all rich and relatively insulated and probably are under the delusion that color no longer matters and we’re all just one big happy rainbow. Or at least the darker ones don’t want to disillusion the paler ones. Look at the stuff Kanye has said.

  19. serena says:

    This makes me even more pissed off. Yes, she wasn’t involved in the creative process but she knew what the ad was about and how it would play.. she didn’t stop at that because she didn’t care, all she saw was ‘Pepsi’ and ‘big opportunity’. So really, I don’t care that she’s feeling ‘terrible’, because I’m sure she isn’t for the right reasons.

  20. Erica_V says:

    “She never expected it to receive such backlash.”

    Exactly because she’s too f*****g stupid and unaware to even begin to understand why this ad would be a problem.

  21. CottonClubGirl says:

    This was actually a HUGE SUCCESS for Pepsi. That horrid commercial has now been seen by millions upon millions and I haven’t heard that this has dipped sales in the least. Nobody is talking about a boycott. And yes, Ms. Jenner may be dumber than a bag of donuts but isn’t her mom her manager? That commercial was totally Kris-approved and it’s a close 2nd place to the Paris stunt.