Kendall Jenner’s Tequila Controversy

Keeping Up With The Kardashian’s Kendall Jenner has come under fire due to a controversial advertising campaign for her tequila brand, 818.

Credit: Today

The 25-year old model is being slammed for cultural appropriation after starring in both photographic and video material for the advertising campaign. Just four years after her contentious Pepsi commercial, the recent video advertisements for her newly launched brand of tequila, 818, have come under fire.

Twitter Backfire

After the campaign’s debut, criticism started rolling in, which saw masses of Twitter users complain about the campaign.

Twitter users then went on to break down what they found most offensive about the images.

“It’s the way she’s styled the shoot. She’s 1. Using Mexican people as props. 2. She’s wearing a sombrero. 3. It’s the way she’s playing dress up as a less fortunate person, the broken truck window. It’s not 100% about the tequila, which it still is but 1/2,” a Twitter user explained.

The user added, “It’s also about the way she’s dressing up like a Mexican person. It’s wrong & super distasteful. There were other ways to market. But this one? It’s not it.”


Raise a Toast

Credit: Buzzfeed

The campaign depicts Jenner wearing braided pigtails, casual clothing and a hat on her back. After riding a horse through an agave farm in Jalisco, Mexico, Jenner can then be seen raising a toast to the native farmers who grow the brand’s agave. Critics have accused Jenner of cultural appropriation, claiming that wearing the outfit depicted as a costume for a photoshoot is offensive to those with Mexican heritage. It has been suggested that this advertising tactic perpetuates stereotypes and spreads misunderstanding about the Mexican culture. The negative feedback garnered an immediate response from Jenner, who deactivated comments on her Instagram post.

Highlighting Workers

Whilst many have expressed their distaste for the campaign, sources have told TMZ that,

“the focus of the ad was intended to highlight the farmers doing the actual work to make the product ⁠— which makes sense because Kendall was accused of not crediting the workers when she first announced the brand.”

Source: TMZ

Some Twitter users came to Jenner’s defence, pointing out that celebrities such as George Clooney, Dwayne Johnson and LeBron James, have launched tequila brands without any negative feedback.

“Kendall Jenner’s 818 tequila is no different than George Clooney’s Casamigos or The Rock’s Teramana” one fan tweeted.

The negative feedback which has accompanied the 818 campaign has been likened to a controversial

Kendall Jenner’s representation have yet to comment regarding Jenner’s highly debated Pepsi commercial from 2017. The ad showed the model turning a heated street demonstration into a fast celebration by handing a police officer a soda. The criticism was centred around the Pepsi brand borrowing imagery from the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement and presenting the ideas in an unrealistic manner.

A Star-Studded Party & Copycat Claims

Jenner spent the passed weekend spent celebrating the launch of her first business venture. Whilst the Keeping Up With The Kardashians star was busy hosting a star-studded party, another US-based tequila company has insinuated that Jenner copied their branding and was charging more for a lower quality tequila. Texas-based tequila company Tequila 512 has taken to Instagram to explain the copycat claims,

You may have seen that @kendalljenner released a “new” tequila today,” the company captioned a side-by-side photo of the two company bottles. “Note the similarities, including the color, the name and it is made at the same distillery in Tequila Mexico as ours,” they added. The company, based in Austin, Texas, uses the 512 area code while Kendall uses Calabasas’s 818 area code. But the brand accuses Kendall of making cheaper quality tequila while charging more. “Their batches are being distilled twice. Ours three times. Yet she is charging twice as much per bottle.”


Tequila 512 costs around $30 per bottle, with 818 Tequila will run you about $60 a bottle. Jenner has yet to respond to the copycat claims, instead choosing to lap up the attention at her launch party which saw a number of celebrities in attendance.

Dressed to impress | Credit:

These included Katy Perry, Drake, and Chris Brown, Travis Scott and her BFF Stassi Karanikolaou. With so much celebrity backing, it’ll take a lot more than one Instagram post for Tequila 512 to infiltrate the Kardashian-Jenner machine.

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