HAMILTON, New Zealand - A bar in New Zealand ruffled feathers online with its advertisements for Corona beer specials amid the deadly coronavirus outbreak in China.
House on Hood has replaced an ad on its Facebook page that reportedly offered Corona beers “while the pandemic lasts,” with a more toned down version of the promotion. The move came after the bar faced backlash over making light of the coronavirus outbreak, which as of Monday had killed at least 362 people and infected over 17,000 globally.
In the new ad, a Corona beer with a face mask wrapped around it is pictured along with a caption that reads “let’s be honest there are worst things you can catch in Hamilton, Coronas still $6.50 all summer long.”
The initial post featured two people dressed in medical suits and face masks holding up Corona beers, with the slogan "catch some Corona at House this summer, just [6.50 New Zealand dollars ($4.20)] every day while the pandemic lasts," Newsweek reported.
Several people accused House on Hood of being insensitive in the comments section.
“Right okay, hahahahaha it's 'so funny' that innocent people in China are dying,” one person commented. “And I bet if it were in a European country y'all probably wouldn't be so eager to make light of this situation.”
“Disgusting advert. Find something less deadly to humor about bro,” another person added.
Others applauded the bar for its sense of humor.
“What a bunch of softies,” one person said. “Gallows humor is what make Kiwis and Aussies stand out from the pack.”
“Love the humour guys; stuff the PC,” another person wrote.
Lion, the company that distributes Corona in New Zealand, reportedly said it was unaware of the promotion and condemned the bar for running it.
But John Lawrenson, CEO of the Lawrenson Group which owns House on Hood, reportedly stood by the bar’s decision to run the controversial advertisement.
"The great thing about living in today's society is that there is a small but loud minority of people who get offended by everything and I can always rely on them to get triggered," Lawrenson told the New Zealand Herald.
"So I'd just like to say thanks to all the snowflakes for the free advertising and thanks to everyone else with a sense of humor who liked the post."
This story was reported from Los Angeles.