Corona Beer cops flak for controversial Twitter ad

Beer company Corona has received backlash from its latest ad promoting its new product, Corona Hard Seltzer. Corona posted a Twitter ad on 25 February showing four different flavours of its new Corona Hard Seltzer line on a beach, with the tagline "coming ashore soon".

The ad has since received a slew of negative comments from netizens, saying that the ad was done in "poor taste" and at a "bad timing". One netizen accused Corona of "exploiting" the global health crisis (COVID-19) that is going on right now. A few netizens have also declared that they will be boycotting the beer.

Despite the negative response to the backlash, Constellations Brands- the winery company that produces Corona beer- said it will continue with its marketing for the Corona Hard Seltzer, according to CNBC. The article added that the company has already put aside US$40 million to market the four new seltzer flavours, which are already on public sales.

CNBC cited a spokesperson from Constellations Brands who said its advertising for Corona beer is "based off consumer sentiment", and is consistent "for the last 30 years". The spokesperson also reportedly said most of its consumers are aware that there is no link between the beer and the coronavirus, adding that the company empathises with those who are affected by the health crisis and will "continue to monitor the situation". Marketing has reached out to Constellations Brands for a statement.

The Corona beer has unfortunately been tied up with the global health crisis since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. Last month, there was a surge in "Corona" search, with numerous reports emerging around searches for “corona beer virus” surging on Google from 20 January.

Industry experts weighed in then if Corona should have done something with the unprecedented rise in surge. Founder of eCommerce and SEO consultancy Stridec, Alva Chew said that an established and/or mainstream brand should take on the responsibility and duty of trying to advance humanity’s better side. On the other hand, Rosalind Tan, chief executive officer, PurpleClick Media, said that it would not be appropriate for Corona to leverage on the situation, given deaths are involved. "Sometimes when it comes to bad press, ‘Silence is Golden’, unless it starts to impact the company’s sales negatively," she added.

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