Heineken has taken its new controversial television advert off the air following an online storm that saw some accuse the company of racism.
In the advert, a bartender is shown sliding a bottle of beer past three black people before it stops in the hand of a lighter skinned woman.
The ad ends with the ill-advised tagline “sometimes lighter is better”.
Heineken has been keen to stress that the slogan was a reference to the new low-calorie, reduced alcohol beer promoted in the clip.
However, Chance the Rapper was quick to hit out at the clip as “horribly racist” on social media.
I think some companies are purposely putting out noticably racist ads so they can get more views. And that shit racist/bogus so I guess I shouldn’t help by posting about it. But ? I gotta just say tho. The “sometimes lighter is better” Hienekin commercial is terribly racist omg
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) March 26, 2018
“I think some companies are purposely putting out noticeably racist ads, so they can get more views,” he said.
Other complaints soon followed, with many arguing that the skin colour of those involved make it difficult to believe that the entire situation was merely a coincidence.
A few, meanwhile, feel the ad was tone deaf at best.
Heineken has now taken action, removing the advert from its YouTube channel and issuing an apology.
“For decades, Heineken has developed diverse marketing that shows there’s more that unites us than divides us,” said a spokesman for Heineken US.
“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 isn’t the first company to be embroiled in a racism row. Primark, for example, came under fire for a Walking Dead t-shirt that appeared to feature a racist nursery rhyme.
Is This Walking Dead T-Shirt Racist? One Primark Customer Thought So
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.