Heineken Pulls ‘Lighter Is Better’ Ad Some Are Calling Racist

What do you think?

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Many brands haven’t really caught up with the times. The latest to stumble with a seriously misguided ad is Heineken, with its “lighter is better” campaign. 


While Heineken has received kudos in the past for ads demonstrating finely-tuned racial sensitivity, the ad in the video above gives the strong impression they’ve forgotten that. Chance the Rapper noticed, and he called them out on Twitter.

To the company’s credit, it pulled the ad almost immediately, but with his “baiting” comment, Chance was clearly stating that he thought Heineken calibrated the spot to gin up controversy. If Chance is right, the brewing company wouldn’t be the first to figure any attention is better than none at all.

Companies slipping up and bumbling into these waters is nothing new. As Fortune notes, Dove has stepped in it and so has H&M.

Heineken; Chance

It’s easy to see the failures here, though it’s likely the ad agencies or departments who created the concepts would say they didn’t intend anything racist at all.

That may be, but it also suggests they don’t have enough people of color on staff to say, ‘hey, that’s probably a bad idea.’ Or maybe just someone with a little common sense.

h/t Fortune