Lager brand Heineken has apologised and pulled its 'Lighter is Better' TV ad in the US following a Twitter backlash spearheaded by Chance the Rapper, who called the spot out for being “terribly racist.”
Heineken stood accused of intentionally courting controversy to generate headlines in support of its Heineken Light beer with the campaign.
The 30-second spot promoting the product showed a bartender sliding a bottle of beer along the bar to reach a woman in the distance. The glass was shown passing by a number of black customers before arriving at a white patron, ending on the strapline: 'Sometimes, Lighter is Better'.
Chicago-based musician Chance the Rapper was among the first to scrutinise the brand on Twitter, claiming the spot was designed to provoke a reaction.
at alot 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. Thats the first sentence of my shit. And u didnt mention it https://t.co/qgrNfrfGRX
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) March 26, 2018
Following the media attention, the brand has since apologised.
In a statement it said: "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."