Don’t ever use the word “light” in an ad, apparently.
Heineken experienced a social-media backlash that accused an ad for its light beer as being racist because it said “lighter is better” and the complexions of the people in the clip.
In the clip, a bartender slides a Heineken Light to a woman standing some distance away. Some users noted that the bartender and the woman are both fair-complexioned while two of the three people the bottle passes are black and the other dark-skinned. The slogan “sometimes lighter is better” appears on the screen.
That caused Chance the Rapper to cry foul.
“I think some companies are purposely putting out noticably racist ads so they can get more views. And that s–t 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,” he wrote.
In 24 hours, the rapper’s post had been retweeted 2,700 times and received more than 14,000 likes and, in a sign it was largely agreed with, didn’t even get 350 replies.
Heineken quickly knuckled under.
“For decades, Heineken has developed diverse marketing that shows there’s more that unites us than divides us,” a company spokesperson told Fox News. “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.”
The Dutch beer brand didn’t take into account the feedback from people incredulous at the criticism.
“When the say ‘light’ I’m pretty sure they are talking about how it is a 99 calorie beer not the color,” one Twitter user wrote.