Heineken pulls beer advert after Chance the Rapper calls it ‘terribly racist’

Chance the Rapper has accused beer brand Heineken of “baiting” consumers with racism in an advert featuring the strapline “lighter is better”.

Chance the Rapper called the advert “terribly racist”. (Photo: Julio Enriquez/Flickr)

Heineken’s advert, which was released in the US this year, has now been pulled by the drinks firm amid a fierce backlash on social media.

The advert shows a bartender sliding a bottle of Heineken Light down the bar to a light-skinned woman, passing three black people in the process. The tagline then reads: “sometimes, lighter is better”.

Heineken light, which was first released in 2005, contains just 99 calories per bottle, compared with the average 149 calories found in a bottle of Heineken Premium Lager.

Although the beer brand insists the tagline makes a reference to Heineken Light’s low calorie content, it has faced criticism on social media for alluding to skin colour.

Hip-hop artist Chance the Rapper on Sunday tweeted the promotion was “terribly racist”. He said he thought some companies were purposely airing controversial adverts to “get more views”.

“I think some companies are purposely putting out noticably racist ads so they can get more views,” he said, before outing the Heineken ad as “terribly racist”.

The rapper was not calling on a boycott of the drinks maker, he said, but simply wanted to highlight instances where marketers deliberately missed the mark to get a reaction.

He added: “Im not saying boucott (sic) them or go off im just noticing how often it happens and I think they baiting consumers and tweeters and freelancers and shit.”

Respoding to the outcry late on Monday, Heineken said it had “missed the mark” in its reference to a lower-calorie beer, and removed the advert from its social media channels and TV.

“While we feel the ad is referencing our Heineken Light beer, and that light beer is better than other high-calorie options – we missed the mark, are taking the feedback to heart and will use this to influence future campaigns,” Heineken USA spokesman Bjorn Trowery said.

The news comes less than a year after the beer brand was widely praised for the diversity and progressiveness of its advertising campaign “World’s Apart“.

Heineken won over consumers with its ad campaign in May 2017, which saw strangers with contrasting views and values pair up to resolve their differences over a beer.

3 Responses to “Heineken pulls beer advert after Chance the Rapper calls it ‘terribly racist’”

  1. Michael Dable says:

    “Terribly Racist” What a twit ! But who is the bigger twit Chance or Heineken?

  2. ian macmillan says:

    This is getting ridiculous now when this type of advertising causes offence. Guinness better refrain from alluding to “black” or “red” when advertising their beers. In fact any product stating any reference to colour may be deemed as being racist. Where will this all end ??

  3. Lou Reed says:

    Who the hell is Chance the Rapper ?

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