Heineken pulls light beer commercial after Chance The Rapper calls it ‘terribly racist’
Heineken has dropped a commercial for its light beer after some complaints that it was racist.
The ad featured a bartender sliding a bottle of Heineken Light. The bottle passes several black people before it arrives in front of a lighter-skinned woman. The tagline: Sometimes lighter is better.
On Sunday, hip-hop star Chance the Rapper tweeted the commercial was “terribly racist.”
“I think some companies are purposely putting out noticably[sic] racist ads so they can get more views. And that sh*t/bogus so I guess I shouldn’t help by posting about it. But I gotta just say tho. The “sometimes light is better” Hienekin[sic] commercial is terribly racist omg,” the rapper tweeted.
“I found that joint,” the Grammy winner tweeted, with a link to the Heineken commercial.
“I’m not saying boucott[sic] them or go off i’m just noticing how often it happens and I think they baiting consumers and tweeters and freelancers and sh*t. Like I didn’t wanna tweet about it so bad but its like how can u not,” he wrote.
In a statement, Heineken says while the ad was referencing Heineken Light, “we missed the mark.”
“For decades, Heineken has developed diverse marketing that shows there’s more that unites us than divides us,” a Heineken spokesperson told BBC News in a statement. “While we feel the ad is referencing our Heineken Light beer, we missed the mark, are taking the feedback to heart and will use this to influence future campaigns.”
Heineken drew praise last year for its “Open Your World” commercials, which featured people of different backgrounds discussing their viewpoints.
Heineken joined the list of companies whose tone-deaf advertisements have landed them in hot water.
Last year, Pepsi pulled their controversial ad featuring Kendall Jenner “solving” a protest by handing out a can of Pepsi. The company apologized, saying “we did not intend to make light of any serious issue,” after many people on social media criticized it for being “tone deaf.”
Critics said the image of Jenner handing the officer a Pepsi evoked a photo of Black Lives Matter protester Ieshia Evans approaching an officer at a demonstration in Baton Rouge in 2016.
H&M has also recently been accused of racism in their marketing. In January, the company pulled a children’s sweatshirt from its stores that read “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” after it was featured on a young black model.
NBA star LeBron James and rapper Diddy were among those who had responded with outrage to the ad. Canadian singer The Weeknd and rapper G-Eazy cancelled partnerships with H&M. In South Africa, there were protests at some H&M stores.
Similarly, Dove faced a backlash in October for their Facebook ad for Dove body wash showing a black woman removing her shirt and turning into a white woman.
“An image we recently posted on Facebook missed the mark in representing women of colour thoughtfully. We deeply regret the offence it caused,” Dove tweeted after the controversial ad went viral.
—With files from the Associated PressFollow @KatieScottNews
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