UPDATE: Heineken issued an apology over the beer commercial. See the full mea culpa below.
Chance the Rapper blasted Heineken’s new light beer commercial for having racist undertones. In the ad, a bartender slides a beer past several dark-skinned people to a fair-skinned woman. The ad proclaims, in reference to its light beer, “Sometimes Lighter Is Better.”
“I think some companies are purposely putting out noticeably racist ads so they can get more views. And that shit racist/bogus so I guess I shouldn’t help by posting about it,” Chance tweeted. “The ‘sometimes lighter is better’ Heineken commercial is terribly racist omg.”
Chance the Rapper suggested that deploying racially insensitive advertising has become an intentional way ad firms get eyeballs. “A lot of these marketing agencies are doing willfully so we overreact and tweet about it, and you write an article and tweet, and we all say their brand name 50 times,” he said on Twitter.
In a statement to Rolling Stone, Heineken acknowledged their latest commercial “missed the mark.” “For decades, Heineken has developed diverse marketing that shows there’s more that unites us than divides 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,” the beer company said. The company also pulled the ad, which features the Tennors’ “Another Scorcher,” from YouTube.
Chance the Rapper added, “Im not saying [boycott Heineken] or go off im just noticing how often it happens and I think they baiting consumers and tweeters and freelancers and shit. Like I didnt wanna tweet about it so bad but its like how can u not.”
In October, a Facebook ad for Dove body wash caused outrage for showing a black woman removing her shirt and turning into a white woman. “An image we recently posted on Facebook missed the mark in representing women of color thoughtfully. We deeply regret the offense it caused,” Dove tweeted after the controversial ad went viral.
Similarly, H&M came under fire after its online brochure featured a black child modeling a hoodie that read “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle.” The Weeknd, a spokesperson for the clothing company, severed ties with H&M as a result and called he photo “deeply offensive.”
In light of the recent Heineken® Light Beer advert, please find our official statement. pic.twitter.com/9srsUFW086
— Heineken SA (@Heineken_SA) March 27, 2018