Home / Advertisers / PepsiCo lands in big trouble with ‘racist’ online ad for Mountain Dew from rapper Tyler The Creator

PepsiCo lands in big trouble with ‘racist’ online ad for Mountain Dew from rapper Tyler The Creator

If you unleash a rapper on your advertising you’d better have a minder or three to hand and Pepsi obviously didn’t when it appointed Tyler The Creator’s Camp Flog Gnaw to produce a campaign for Mountain Dew.

Pepsi has pulled this (so the above may disappear soon), saying it took full responsibility for the opus featuring a bunch of dodgy-looking black suspects in a line-up – plus a mouthy goat. As someone on YouTube said, it’s an insult to goats.

But the real offence is in the portrayal of the elderly victim, a near-hysterical woman who’s obviously been quite badly damaged.

How anyone in their right mind could let this one through is a total mystery. But maybe that’s what happens when you hire ‘edgy’ stars from showbiz: everyone’s too frightened/star struck to engage their brains.

Mountain Dew’s agency of record seems to be BBDO New York but I’ve no idea if they had anything to do with this (Camp Flog Gnaw is a co-venture with the William Morris Endeavor talent agency).

PepsiCo advertising is a complete mess; the endless pursuit of celebrity-attached gimmicks. Get a grip chaps.

Update 3/5/13

See the great George Parker’s comments live on HuffPost. Yes, George does exist!

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

One comment

  1. Please be advised that BBDO was not involved in the development of this video. It was created by Tyler Okonma, known as Tyler, the Creator, a hip-hop producer and rap artist.

    Mountain Dew has taken full responsibility. Below is a statement from the brand:

    “We apologize for this video and take full responsibility. We have removed it from all Mountain Dew channels and Tyler is removing it from his channels as well.”

    Thank you,
    Roy Elvove
    Director, Worldwide Communications
    BBDO

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