PUBLISHED: 13:04, 18 April 2012 | UPDATED: 20:35, 21 April 2012
Beer giant Heineken launched an urgent investigation after an internet photo of a brutal dog fight showed the ring was surrounded by their branded banners.
Yesterday Heineken said it was ‘as shocked and disappointed’ as anyone who had seen their name linked to the blood sport.
The picture shows people filming a dogfight in a ring with the Heineken logo hanging from pillars above the crowd.
Animal rights groups circulated the image online, sparking an angry response from their supporters.
In an official statement on their own Facebook site Heineken said: ‘We are aware of images of dog fighting circulating online including our branding. We do not support such cruelty and are urgently investigating.‘
However many people called on the firm to speak out publicly against dogfighting, accusing them of backtracking after being ‘caught out’.
One Facebook user said: ‘I am so not having anything to do with your product or events you sponsor – anywhere – until you sort this out. Disgraceful!’
‘Shame on you Heineken–you are what is wrong with this world! How could you sponsor such a heinous crime!’ another said.
This afternoon the Dutch brewer claimed they had tracked down the club in Mongolia thanks to online comments and said that the venue had held an official Heineken event there the night before.
A spokesman told MailOnline they had no knowledge of the dog fighting and have now removed all remaining promotional materials from the venue and ended their relationship.
‘The venue owner has verbally 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,’ he said.
‘We fully understand the level of negative feeling amongst consumers based on what they have seen.
‘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.’
Heineken has run into trouble in the past after it was revealed their Spanish Central Cervejas brand was advertised at bullrings in Spain.
A comment from the page below:-
“Looks that way hey? And apparently Heineken say they had an event prior to this one, and the people forgot to take their banners off for this event…. whatEVA!!! What ever they may say, even that they would hold an event in the same place that allows dog fights should not even be in the equation!!!”