It's a very Heineken weekend here at Exec Digital. It seems the luxury classes' favorite beer has been trucking through some unfamiliar PR territory recently, including coming out with a new bizarre press release for their new Mexican Beer 'Indio' which we covered here, that seemed to target Hispanic men in a fairly marginalizing way.
To make matters all the more wacky, we discovered a recent Press Release from Heineken that addressed recent pictures of an illegal dog fight event in Mongolia featuring Heineken sponsor banners. You can view the image here.
The pictures have created quite an uproar in the community, particularly in animal right's circles, and the company has been on defense trying to snuff out suspicions that the company in any way promoted such a brutal, and illegal event.
The press release said this:
"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."
However, the banners for the event look quite large and expensive, like the kind of banners supplied by companies to promote their product. So I think the key here is the word 'knowingly' in the above quote. A company of Heineken's size operates at such a large scope that mishaps and uncontrollable events are bound to happen.
However, judging by yesterday's 'Indio' press release, the company has not made great measures since the dog fighting incident to insure appropriate brand representation. With their scope of influence, traditionally advertising would urge them to be responsible and respectful of their customer's as people. This may indicate they are adopting a new style of 'Shock Advertising' in the vein of Lady Gaga and American Apparel, where-in brands purposefully mar their wholesome image to appear more provocative and interesting to buyers.