Heineken Sponsoring Dog Fighting Photo - Internet/Facebook Rumour

12 May 2013 - Article No: 1720. Filed under: General | Internet/Facebook Rumour

Images are circulating that appear to show a dog fight. Clearly visible around the arena are Heineken banners, suggesting that the popular Dutch lager brand were sponsoring the event.

The image is real and does depict a dog fight that happened in a nightclub in Mongolia. However Heineken have confirmed that they were not sponsoring the event in any way and the reason their promotional material was present was because the club hosted a sponsored event the evening before and the club owner failed to remove the banners.

Heineken have confirmed on their Facebook Page that they had no knowledge of the event and have since ceased trading with the nightclub depicted in the photo after finding out about the event. Their statement reads in part -

A two year old image continues to circulate in social media channels showing a dog fight, with Heineken banners clearly in the background. As a company and a brand owner, 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.
Since this matter was brought to our attention via Facebook we have conducted an investigation and now know that:
- The venue is a nightclub in Mongolia
- The venue hosted a dog fight of which we had no knowledge and were not involved in any way
- The venue owner has formally confirmed that Heineken banners are visible in the pictures because the previous evening the club had been decorated for a promotional event and he had failed to remove the banners once it was over. This event was in no way related to the dog fight.

Based on this we have taken the following immediate actions:
- Removed all remaining promotional materials from the venue
- Withdrawn all current product stock from the club
- Ceased our relationship, ensuring our brands will not be available in the club again
- Instructed our distributor to check every location where our brands can be enjoyed to ensure such illegal activities are not taking place. If there is any suggestion that they are, we will take the same action and remove our products
- Continue to ensure our strict advertising and promotion guidelines are enforced both to the letter and the spirit of their intent

We want to thank our consumers on-line for bringing this issue to our attention. We are shocked and disappointed by these images. We fully understand the level of negative feeling amongst consumers based on what they have seen. We appreciate that the vast majority have asked for our point of view before making a judgment. We encourage our consumers to continue to use social media channels to alert us to any situation where they feel our brands are being misrepresented, so that we can take the appropriate actions.

Additionally the nightclub owner has also confirmed the event was not sponsored by Heineken.

UPDATE: Heineken have released the following photo to explain what happened. See below.

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