A photograph that appears to show banners for Heineken beer prominently displayed during a dogfight has gone viral in recent weeks, but Heineken has denied sponsoring any such events.
The photograph shows two dogs fighting inside a caged arena while a cameraman films the event and an audience cheers. Several Heineken banners hang above the audience to one side of the arena.
The image, which first showed up online in 2011, received a push in recent weeks, inspiring online petitions, angry blog posts, and complaints on Heineken's Facebook page, where people have vowed to boycott the brand.
Heineken has denied any involvement with the event. The company released the following statement:
"Images are circulating on a number of websites showing what appears to be an illegal dogfight with Heineken banners (placed upside down) clearly visible. HEINEKEN is shocked and disappointed by this image. HEINEKEN is not and would never knowingly be associated with illegal activities, including those involving cruelty to animals. This is a gross misrepresentation of our brand and our legal team is now investigating the source of the picture and will take the necessary measures. We ask anyone with information regarding this picture such as the source, or the venue where it has been taken to contact us."
Update: Heineken has severed relations with club that hosted the illegal dog fight. An investigation has revealed that the photo was taken at a nightclub in Mongolia. Heineken has also removed all promotional material from the venue.