Heineken advert removed after Chance the Rapper brands it 'terribly racist'

Ad shows bartender sliding bottle of beer past number of black people

Heineken's 'Sometimes lighter is better' ad

Heineken has removed a commercial for its low-calorie beer after musician Chance the Rapper branded the advert “terribly racist”.

The ad, with the tagline "Sometimes, Lighter is Better" showed a bartender sliding a bottle of Heineken Light past a number of black people, before it reaches a light-skinned woman.

In the latest example of a company misjudging its marketing, the beer maker said it was pulling the commercial from all global markets.

"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," the company said in a statement.

The decision to withdraw followed comments by Chicago-born Chance the Rapper on Monday. He accused the company of “purposely putting out noticeable racist ads” in order to gain a larger audience.

"I gotta just say tho. The “sometimes lighter is better” Heineken commercial is terribly racist omg," he wrote on Twitter.

The "Coloring Book" singer said he was not advocating a boycott, adding "I’m just noticing how often it happens."

Heineken said in its statement that it had a long and "positive track record for creating marketing that shows there’s more that unites us than divides us."

It says its Heineken Light beer has just 99 calories.

Several companies have suffered accusations of racism in recent advertising. In January, fashion company H&M apologised for a poster that showed a black child modelling a hoodie that had the words "coolest monkey in the jungle" on the front.

Last year, Pepsi pulled an ad featuring American model Kendall Jenner after complaints that it trivialized civil rights protests by Black Lives Matter, and beauty product maker Dove apologised for a video that appeared to show a black woman turning into a white woman after using its soap.

Additional reporting by AP

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