Heineken recently pulled an ad that caused major backlash on social media after hip hop artist Chance the Rapper said it was “noticeably racist”. He took to Twitter, stating that he didn’t want to tweet about the ad, but he felt like it was simply impossible not to bring it to people’s attention.
In the Heineken ad, a male of lighter skin complexion slid a beer bottle to a woman across the bar of the same skin tone. But while the bottle was sliding, it passed many people who happened to be of a darker skin color. Once the bottle reached the women of a lighter skin tone, the phrase appears on the screen “Sometimes Lighter is Better.”
Heineken has removed an ad following a wave of online criticism slamming the beer company’s "Lighter is Better" campaign as "terribly racist."
— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 27, 2018
In the tweet he stated, “I think some companies are purposely putting out noticeably racist ads, so they can get more views.”
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
Heineken released a statement in response to the ad stating it was aware of the accusations; however, the phrase in question referred to the calorie count in the beer and not skin color. The company also mentioned its history of “ambitious ads,” which include people of different ethnicities and genders, also maintaining it never intended to offend anyone.
Many Twitter users compared it to the Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad released last year, which also got major backlash throughout social media. In the ad, Jenner walked into the middle of a protest and handed a can of Pepsi to a police officer, somehow “fixing” racism.
Chance The Rapper stated, “I’m just noticing how often it happens and I think [they are] baiting consumers and tweeters and freelancers.”