Photo showing Heineken branding at a dogfight in club.
Please Share The Hell out of this image. Big mistake Heineken, Big mistake.
Hoax or Fact:
The picture messages claim to show a dog fight being captured in an arena surrounded by Heineken posters, which seem to suggest that the beer brand has sanctioned and is promoting the dog fight. Although the picture is genuine, Heineken explained that it had no idea about the dog fight and did not sponsor it in anyway.
This picture went viral through social media, creating rage over the beer brand Heineken to have promoted an illegal dog fight event. In 2012, Heineken investigated into the picture and came up with an explanation, giving a public statement both on their website and Facebook page:
Images of dog fighting circulating on the internet (April 4, 2012)
April 18, 2012
Images continue to circulate in social media channels showing a dog fight, with Heineken® banners clearly visible in the background. This is very distressing and totally unacceptable. As a company and a brand owner, we do not and would never knowingly support any event, outlet or individual involved in this type of activity. It is against our company and brand rules and - more important - against our company values.
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 verbally 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
Based on this we have taken the following immediate actions:
- 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- Withdrawn all current product stock from the club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
This explains that the venue shown in the picture is a nightclub in Mongolia called Elite Crystal bar and this incident happened back in 2010. The dog fighting competition was held by a company which rented the nightclub bar during the daytime, and so the staff did not have time to remove the Heineken banners from the stage. As mentioned above, the venue owner wrote this as an official letter to inform that the dog fighting competition was not sponsored by Heineken.
After this incident, Heineken said that it has withdrawn all product relationships from the club and has even ensured such illegal activities are not taking place anywhere. Interestingly, Heineken faced somewhat similar, but smaller controversy in 2011, when one of its Television commercials showed a man dressed in snakeskin jacket is shown to attend a snake fight while drinking Heineken. You can watch the commercial in the video.
In any case, encouraging animal fight for whatever purpose like this is very mean, it is also illegal.