Pepsi Opens a Vein of Controversy With New Suicide-Themed Ads
There's but one calorie in PepsiMax and, as we know, one is the loneliest number. So it only makes sense that a new flight of print ads from BBDO Dusseldorf show a cute but sad little personification of a calorie committing suicide in a few ultraviolent ways, including a gunshot, a hanging, self-immolation and even slitting his little blue wrist with a razor blade.
Needless to say, message boards today have been popping with much anti-Pepsi sentiment, most of it centered on the claim that these kinds of ads are insensitive to the issue of suicide. You'll recall a few years ago General Motors got bogged down in a similar issue, when a Super Bowl ad depicting a robot considering suicide caused an uproar.
GM edited their ad. It'll be interesting to see how Pepsi, not exactly known for living on the edge, responds. (An e-mail for comment wasn't immediately returned.)