Is PepsiCo Catering to Muslims?


I just ran across a photo on Facebook posted by several of my friends:

Diet Pepsi can from Iraq
Blatant image of 9/11, or fanciful clip art? You decide!

I’m sort of a cynical person, so I needed to research this a bit (and see a bigger picture) before I jumped to a conclusion. I Googled “pepsi can muslims” (yeah, I know, real detailed search, there), and found a few instances of the picture. Most everyone who has commented on these images seems to be SURE this is a Muslim conspiracy with Pepsico, and the image is meant to inflame Americans and bolster Muslims, etc., etc.

Upon close inspection, I can see why people are upset. There are parts of that image that do invoke aspects of 9/11. HOWEVER, they are so vague and disconnected as to seem little more than coincidental.

I am loath to jump to the conclusion that Pepsico is catering to Islam insurgents, but maybe they could have been a leeetle more careful with their clip art. That said, does the fact that they weren’t more careful make them guilty of slightly-less-than-patriotic intentions?

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I'm a Christian, Army Guard wife, and mom of two boys and a cranky cat. Fortunately, a B.S. (*snicker*) in environmental science and close proximity to Seattle have not turned me from my conservative upbringing. But it does make for some interesting blog material!

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Lady Penguin
December 19, 2011 8:09 am

Your title asks a question. My answer: yes, they are. Tall building images, in particular with narrow side views and a plane above, can’t help but think it is deliberately evocative.

Your point that they weren’t more “careful” shows they don’t want to be. Intent is everything.

Glad to say, I am a Coca Cola fan, can’t stand Pepsi. 🙂

BTW, welcome to Unified Patriots. Wonderful to have you join in our efforts to right the ship that is America.

Brian Hibbert
December 19, 2011 11:13 am

Any idea what city that is an outline of? IF it’s NYC then I think we have a right to raise a stink. IF it’s Kuwait City or some other large Arab city then this is likely an innocent mistake that we’re sensitive to. They SHOULD have left the plane out either way.

December 19, 2011 11:16 am

Speaking of insensitivity, or provocation, recall if you will our own President and his whacked out administration who thought it would be a good idea to buzz NYC with a big ol’ jet airliner.

Queen Hotchibobo
December 19, 2011 3:24 pm

I don’t live in marketing, but I’ve been exposed to a few marketing gurus. I can’t believe they didn’t vet this more carefully than this. I think they intended it to harken back to 9-11 and were just hoping that the fervor of the day could be used to sell their pop again. By making it utterly neutral like this, they have a chance to get the other side to buy their pop because those sympathetic to the terrorists see the attacks as a remarkable success against the Great Satan. Maybe Pepsi thought our side would see it as a… Read more »