The Willistonian, Est. 1881

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Heineken Under Fire for Controversial Ad

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Credit: Wikimedia Images

Credit: Wikimedia Images

Credit: Wikimedia Images

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Heineken recently pulled a commercial off the air after there was an outcry against it due to alleged racism.

Many were taken back by the ad, which depicted a bartender sliding a bottle of the company’s brew to a white woman. And on its journey to her, it passes two black women and one man. Once it reaches her, the phrase “sometimes, lighter is better” appears. This caused controversy in the countries it aired in: United States, New Zealand and Australia.

It’s not the first time an ad has been deemed racist, and it certainly won’t be the last. These highly criticized commercials have been coming out more often than ever. Back in January, H&M caught flak for an ad where a black child was wearing a sweatshirt that said, “coolest monkey in the jungle.” They received extreme damage to some of their stores because of rioting.

The companies may categorize them as accidents, but some public figures believe they are trying to force any type of publicity, even if it’s negative.

Chance the Rapper, an extremely influential artist in the rap and R&B community had an opinion on the topic, courtesy of his Twitter page.

Chance called it “terribly racist,” and went on to say corporations are “putting out noticeably racist ads so they can get more views.”

This shift in advertising is somewhat shocking for Heineken after last year’s “Open Your World” ad campaign. This was praised heavily by its viewers, since it depicted people from different backgrounds sharing viewpoints and ideas.

The polarity of these two ads is not questionable, but Heineken continues to say they meant nothing to arise from it. Heineken released a statement on the topic, saying it was referencing Heineken Light and not skin color. They agreed too that they had “missed the mark” with its controversial commercial.

Some students were astounded by what Heineken released.

James Belleavoine ’19 agreed with the critics, deeming it racist as well.

“They could’ve made the point noted in some other way, it was just way too blatant,” said James. “There’s no way they could have made that commercial without thinking they would be called racist, it’s just too obvious.”

Hunter Sarro ’19 shared the same viewpoints.

“I can see the mistake but it’s not even a question, that commercial was racist,” said Hunter. “It’d be different if it was just one black person, but there’s about five, there’s just no need to debate and I think Heineken knows that.”

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Heineken Under Fire for Controversial Ad