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    Pepsi defends Kendall Jenner ad amid widespread outrage

    Pepsi launched what's been called a tone-deaf advertisement in which Kendall Jenner solves the American racial divide — an issue that predates the union — with a can of Pepsi Max and a smile.

    The ad in question ignited a firestorm when it was released on Tuesday. The commercial features Jenner walking out of a photo shoot to join a nearby demonstration rife with imagery seemingly meant to evoke Black Lives Matter and other protests, before calming the unrest with carbonated aspartame water.

    UPDATE: Pepsi apologizes, pulls controversial Kendall Jenner ad >>

    While the Internet burned in reaction, Pepsi said in a statement to Adweek, "This is a global ad that reflects people from different walks of life coming together in a spirit of harmony, and we think that’s an important message to convey."

    The company had a similar message in a statement to Teen Vogue.

    "The creative showcases a moment of unity, and a point where multiple story lines converge in the final advert. It depicts various groups of people embracing a spontaneous moment, and showcasing Pepsi’s brand rallying cry to 'Live for Now,' in an exploration of what that truly means to live life unbounded, unfiltered and uninhibited," the brand reiterated.

    Twitter remains underwhelmed.

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