|REAL PHOTOGRAPH; |
Example: [Collected via e-mail, September 2012]
Origins: In April 2012 (and again in August 2012 and December 2012) a photograph was widely circulated on the Internet showing a dogfighting match taking place in a forum festooned with banners advertising Heineken brand beer. Many viewers assumed the photograph was evidence that Heineken had officially sponsored the barbaric dogfighting event, leading to calls for
However, further investigation revealed that the photo had been taken back in 2010 at a nightclub in Mongolia, and Heineken had neither been aware of the dogfighting activity nor had it sponsored it. The club's owner confirmed the Heineken banners had been put up for a promotional event held at the club the night before and had not been removed by the time the dogfight took place the following day.
In response to the controversy, Heineken announced that it had terminated its relationship with the club in question, removing all of its promotional materials and beverages from its premises, thereby "ensuring our brands will not be available in the club again":
Since this matter was brought to our attention via Facebook we have conducted an investigation and now know that:
- The venue is a nightclub in Mongolia
- The venue hosted a dog fight of which we had no knowledge and were not involved in any way
- The venue owner has formally confirmed that Heineken banners are visible in the pictures because the previous evening the club had been decorated for a promotional event and he had failed to remove the banners once it was over. This event was in no way related to the dog fight.
- Removed all remaining promotional materials from the venue
- Withdrawn all current product stock from the club
- Ceased our relationship, ensuring our brands will not be available in the club again
- Instructed our distributor to check every location where our brands can be enjoyed to ensure such illegal activities are not taking place. If there is any suggestion that they are, we will take the same action and remove our products
- Continue to ensure our strict advertising and promotion guidelines are enforced both to the letter and the spirit of their intent
Heineken was the subject of a somewhat similar (but smaller) controversy in 2011 over objections to a television commercial that showed a Heineken-drinking man attending a snake fight dressed in a snakeskin jacket:
Last updated: 27 June 2015