After years of careful planning, education, and on-site research, Kendall Jenner launched her highly anticipated alcohol brand, 818 Tequila, earlier this year. However, it didn’t quite go off without a hitch. After developing her own tequila and entering the world of celebrities that back their own alcohol brands, Kendall took her investment one step further and stepped up to become the spokesperson and model for 818 Tequila, as well. Packing a whole lot of star power and with significant financial backing to lean on, everyone assumed Kendall’s brand would be an immediate success, but instead, she was met with a whole lot of backlash. Daily Mail reports that she was accused of taking advantage of a precious Mexican commodity that is directly linked to Mexican culture and was also under fire for a highly controversial ad campaign that many felt was indicative of cultural appropriation. In an effort to save face, she is now re-investing in the local Mexican community by building homes for the poor and disadvantaged local citizens.
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Kendall Jenner’s launch of 818 Tequila was not quite what she envisioned it would be. The negative response was immediate, as fans pushed back on the idea of having a celebrity take credit for and reap the benefits of a tequila that is sacred to the Mexican region.
The flame that ignited the fire lay in the ad campaign that Jenner had orchestrated for the launch of her new product. Perhaps not fully thought out, and yet another example of a tone-deaf endorsement by the reality TV star and supermodel, fans across the globe took issue with the way that Kendall was presenting her tequila to the world.
The advertisement was met with heavy criticism after the image displayed a number of workers at the Jalisco agave farm working in the background, while Jenner was seen posing with pigtails on a horse, taking center stage, and earning money off their hard work.
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Realizing that she had to do something to change the negative narrative that was now attached her the brand she worked so hard to launch, Jenner has just announced that she is putting her profits towards bettering the community that she has sourced the tequila from in the first place.
Some say this is too little, too late, while others are happy to see that she has responded to the backlash and initiated an approach of improvement.
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Sources: Daily Mail, Metro, Harper’s Bazaar
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