Sometimes ads go viral for the wrong reasons.
Pepsi’s new ad featuring Kendall Jenner, which shows her handing a police officer a soda as a peace offering during a protest, drew controversy this week. The ad spurred a slew of memes on social media, with some parodying civil rights movement protests as Pepsi ads.
Ashton Kutcher one drew allegations of racism over a commercial he filmed, in what marked one of many ads that have sparked similar backlashes. Other ads released over the years have been accused of being anti-gay, of glorifying animal abuse and of being just plain offensive.
Ashton Kutcher’s Popchips Ad: In 2012, the actor stirred controversy over a commercial for the snack that showed him portraying members of a fake dating website, including a Bollywood producer named Raj, in which he was criticized for wearing “brown face.”
“The new Popchips worldwide dating video and ad campaign featuring four characters was created to provoke a few laughs and was never intended to stereotype or offend anyone,” the group said in response. “At Popchips we embrace all types of shapes, flavors and colors, and appreciate all snackers, no matter their race or ethnicity. We hope people can enjoy this in the spirit it was intended.”
The ad still exists on the company’s YouTube page.
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