17 April 2012

Is Heineken Sponsoring Illegal Dog Fighting?

So, this picture did the rounds this morning, and in its wake it left a wave of criticism and hate towards the Heineken beer brand. People threatening to boycott the brand; people swearing that they'd never drink Heineken again (we've all said similar things before I'm sure), but how valid is this really?

Here's my thinking: which is more likely?

Heineken: we’re one of the most well-known brands in the world. In light of this fact, we are going to sponsor illegal dog fighting, knowing full well there will be video cameras recording the action. We have every faith that this will never find its way anywhere near social networks.
Anonymous: we hate Heineken and would love to decrease their popularity and/or sales. Let’s get a teenager who knows Photoshop (a little bit) to place some Heineken banners in this super low-res photo and get it trending on Facebook and Twitter. Boom.
Venue: we stock Heineken and use Heineken branding in our venue. Unbeknownst to most people, we also use the venue for illegal dog fighting matches. We have full-on film crews on location to get all the action on camera. We honestly haven’t even considered the fact that the Heineken branding might find its way to social networks. Oops.

People just love to jump on the hate wagon. I'm not claiming to know the truth of all this. For all I know, the people who do branding for Heineken were genocidal dictators in their past lives. But a simple visit to Heineken's website or - God forbid - a Google search wouldn't hurt. Here's the statement from Heineken regarding the picture. You can see the real thing on their site.

Statement: Images of dog fighting circulating on the internet

Images are circulating on a number of websites showing what appears to be an illegal dogfight with Heineken banners (placed upside down) clearly visible. HEINEKEN is shocked and disappointed by this image. HEINEKEN is not and would never knowingly be associated with illegal activities, including those involving cruelty to animals. This is a gross misrepresentation of our brand and our legal team is now investigating the source of the picture and will take the necessary measures. We ask anyone with information regarding this picture such as the source, or the venue where it has been taken to contact us.

So there you have it. Have a good day!


  1. I must admit I was about to jump on the hate wagon but first read your post. Thank you for clearing this up and I won't insist my hubby stops drinking Heineken just yet! Let's hope though that this disgusting 'sport' stops as soon as possible..it is just heartbreaking.

  2. You're amazing. I wish more people were like you.


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