In a new TV spot for Heineken Light, a bartender is shown sliding a bottle of the brew down a long bar. The bottle passes by several men and women of color before stopping in front of a light-skinned woman. As she picks it up, the words “Sometimes Lighter is Better” appear on the screen.
The spot was roundly criticized. Even the Grammy winner Chance the Rapper weighed in tweeting that the commercial was “terribly racist omg.” He added: “I think some companies are purposely putting out noticeably racist ads so they can get more views.”
Heinken pulled the ad and released a statement.
“For decades, Heineken has developed diverse marketing that shows there’s more that unites us than divides us,” a spokesperson for Heineken said. “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 spot was created by Publicis Italy.