Laura Ries, president of Ries & Ries, a marketing firm based in Atlanta, said companies that want the “street cred” of a celebrity may end up losing control of the message they want to convey.
If PepsiCo had created an ad for Mountain Dew, for example, she said it might not have been considered edgy or cool. But by handing over control to a celebrity, she said the company ran the risk of having an ad that wasn’t appropriate.
PepsiCo Inc., based in Purchase, N.Y., said it understood how the ad could be offensive.
“We apologize for this video and take full responsibility,” the company said in an updated statement late Wednesday afternoon. “We have removed it from all Mountain Dew channels and Tyler is removing it from his channels as well.”
Jen Ryan, a spokeswoman for PepsiCo, said the company learned from its consumer relations team on Tuesday that people found the ad offensive. She declined to explain the approval process for the ad but said it was never meant to run on TV.
A publicist for Tyler, the Creator did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment. His raps have been criticized for being misogynistic and homophobic at times but he has also expressed support for the singer Frank Ocean, who revealed he was bisexual.