The controversy arose when the British branch of Heineken placed a commercial on social media in which elderly people dance in a nightclub and run on the beach to swim naked. The ad ended with the text: “Tonight is the Pollinator King. It’s time to join them.”
According to a Heineken spokesperson, the video celebrated a group of people who could once again safely enjoy bars and clubs, “something we all look forward to.”
Not everyone agreed with the message. Many people have called for a boycott of the beer brand. They also used the hashtag #boycottheineken on Twitter. Some include videos of them emptying Heineken bottles and cans.
(Read more below the tweets)
The advertising message certainly wouldn’t hurt Heineken, because after the hashtag went viral, there was also a lot of support for the beer brand.
Although not everyone immediately gave up.
Heineken is not the first company to promote vaccines against the coronavirus. Budweiser, the beer brand of industrial company AB InBev, decided in February to stop advertising the Super Bowl, the annual NFL final, for the first time in 40 years. Instead, that company donated airtime to the vaccination campaign.
Unilever CEO Alan Jope announced that he regularly invites 150,000 employees of the food and laundry group to get vaccinated.