The fact is we love beer and we drink it anywhere and everywhere. We may betray beer once in a while, with a different drink but we always return to our first love, beer. Beer accompanies many of our daily activities as well as while we are home watching a game or doing barbeque.
If we are animal lovers we may be watching the game with our favorite pet, cat or dog, sitting on our lap or perhaps keeping our eye on the already cooked meats so our favorite animal doesn’t try to steal it. But even if our pet does manage to steal some of our food we will just have a beer and forget.
There are cultures, societies or groups of people that consider their dogs not only their best friend (a paradox in this case) but also as a mean for entertainment and profit by organizing dogfighting competitions. It’s true that we have all seen dogs attacking and fighting each other during a walk. On the one hand it’s their nature but on the other hand we can’t just stand by and do nothing. Therefore, it stands to reason that we can’t and wouldn’t remain idle when we see pictures and videos of dogfights which allegedly have our favorite beer as their sponsor.
Recently a picture has drawn special interest. This picture shows two dogs violently fighting and spectators cheering on. In this picture one can clearly see the banners of the world famous Heineken. This is a case where any company, of any product that would be advertised in such a manner would have the same negative reaction from animal lovers. However, before we rush to condemn the image and the actions of any company we should take into account certain circumstances as well as the original source.
In regard to the picture in question, Heineken’s official position is the same worldwide. It goes without saying that the company does not under any circumstances endorse, support or promote such actions or equivalent events involving animals. It is inconsistent with the sportsmanship exhibited through track and field, football and other popular sports.
Therefore before publishing such pictures, we must research the sources and the official positions of the companies especially if it involves a international company. For example a particular Heineken promotion for Brazil might not be known in the Greek market. Therefore, any unfortunate incident cannot be charged to the product in two different and distant countries. Of course in this case we are not just talking about an unfortunate incident but an inhumane form of entertainment which according to the company it has fallen a victim to.
Heineken has a series of arguments regarding its position on the matter, on its official site, which we have read. You can find the official site in English. Heineken assures us that under no circumstances would the company support such an event and explicitly denies any involvement in the said event. Furthermore we are informed that the particular event was at a location where a Heineken sponsored event had recently taken place and apparently the organizers of had not made arrangements to remove the Heineken banners before the new event, in this case the dog fights, took place. According to the Press Release backing such events is against the company’s regulations and values. We must also note that the dog fights took place in Mongolia and not in our country, Greece, as it has also been said.
As a result Heineken has taken the following actions. Initially it removed all banners (albeit late), from the site, discontinued its partnership and removed all its products from the said business. It also informed all those responsible to be extra careful in the future, when selecting businesses where Heineken products will be accompanied by advertising promotions and if they come across anything similar in concept to take immediate action and at the same time inform the parent company.
Moreover, it is worth noting that a copy of the statement made by the owner of the business, where the dog fights took place has been made public. In his statement the owner confirms the partnership with Heineken and declares that the dog fights took place in 2010 (when the business was still in partnership with Heineken). However, they took place without the presence of the staff, during the early morning hours; therefore there was no time to remove the banners. In his statement he further confirms that Heineken had no involvement in the dog fights and that in no way does it endorse such actions.
A similar response was given by the Greek Heineken team to a facebook user who published the photo in question as a comment on the Heineken, Greece page.
BeerBartender, refuses to perpetuate the situation and therefore will not publish the photo. Instead we have chosen to publish pictures of pets from around the internet. In addition it should be noted that our decision to publish this article is with the agreement of Heineken Greece as part of our effort to end both the slander of our beloved beverage and of the famous beer brand. Lastly we want to put an end to the rampant display of this image that causes negative emotions. We support every effort for animal welfare organizations are doing in order to combat all forms of animal cruelty in every corner of our planet.
This post is also available in: Greek
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