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Heineken pulls 'Lighter is Better' commercial after some call it 'racist'

Bottles of Heineken NV lager are displayed for sale in the 'beers, wines & spirits' aisle of a supermarket in Slough, U.K.
Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Bottles of Heineken NV lager are displayed for sale in the 'beers, wines & spirits' aisle of a supermarket in Slough, U.K.

Heineken pulled a 'Sometimes Lighter is Better' commercial for its Heineken Light beer after some criticized it as being racist.

In the 30-second advertisement, a bartender slides a bottle of Heineken Light towards a woman. The beer passes several men and women of color before reaching her and then the statement "Sometimes Lighter is Better" appears.

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Among those criticizing the commercial: Chance the Rapper. The Grammy winner voiced his dismay about the commercial on Twitter calling it "terribly racist." He also questioned whether brands are purposely creating racists advertising to get attention.

"I think some companies are purposely putting out noticably racist ads so they can get more views," he

, adding that "Im just noticing how often it happens and I think they baiting consumers ...Like I didnt wanna tweet about it so bad ... but its like how can u not"

Heineken removed the commercial from TV and online, the company told BBC News, which was among the first to report on the ad.

"For decades, Heineken has developed diverse marketing that shows there's more that unites us than divides us," a Heineken spokesperson told the site in a statement. "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."

While some online said people were reading too much into the ad, others considered the ad at least as subliminally racist.

Heineken gained quite a bit of acclaim for another ad, released last year, called "Worlds Apart," which brought together pairs of strangers with differing political views.

But for most, this newer ad didn't attain that level of quality.

Heineken's commercial is just the latest brand cited for insensitivity. International retailer H&M lost celebrity endorser the Weekend and rapper G-Easy -- and faced online criticism from Lebron James and others -- in January for an ad in the U.K. featuring a black boy modeling a sweatshirt emblazoned with the words "coolest monkey in the jungle."

Back in October 2017, Dove removed a three-second Facebook video showing a black woman morphing into a white woman who then transitions to another woman of color because some found it racially insensitive. The company apologized and said the ad aimed to celebrate diversity.

That same month, Kellogg's was targeted with social media criticism after a racially insensitive drawing on its Corn Pops box depicted the sole brown Corn Pop as a janitor. The company apologized and said it would replace the artwork.