Let the war of words between two soda giants commence.
"SodaStream (SODA) is calling out PepsiCo (PEP - Get Report) for its second tone-deaf marketing scheme of 2017," SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum said in a statement on Wednesday. "Clearly the soda and bottled-water industry will stop at nothing to sell products-even making light of harsh realities, fears and prejudices that citizens face every day. Now, in addition to polluting our oceans with plastic, they're using recent protests against police brutality to sell cans of soda? I say to Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi - you're better than this. You know it and the world knows it."
Sounds like fighting words after what has been a rare marketing misstep for Pepsi, one that Sodastream may be looking to take advantage of.
Reality TV star and new PepsiCo spokesperson Kendall Jenner had her first ad debut on Tuesday (below), and it wasn't without its fair share of controversy. In the ad, Jenner is seen participating in a photo shoot, but then she becomes distracted by a group of protesters. She decides to jump into the fray, but then comes into contact with a non-smiling police officer. Jenner offers him a full-calorie Pepsi (surprised this wasn't a can of new Pepsi Zero Sugar), which he accepts. Social media quickly blew up with complaints Pepsi was using the Black Lives Matter protests to help it sell sugary soda.
On Wednesday, Pepsi decided to pull the ad.
"Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding," Pepsi said in a statement. "Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologize. We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are removing the content and halting any further rollout. We also apologize for putting Kendall Jenner in this position."