Lion calls for Hamilton bar's coronavirus advertisement to be canned

Kiwi beverage company Lion is calling for a Hamilton bar's coronavirus marketing campaign to be axed after the venue received backlash for it on social media.

House on Hood posted an advertisement to their Facebook page saying they're selling Corona's for $6.50 "while the pandemic lasts... all day, every day".

"Virus or no virus, we still think Coronas are pretty great," the post reads.

"Mention your corona loving mates to let them know about this great deal and you could be sharing a free one-metre pizza this Friday at House."

The post also includes a photo of two people wearing boiler suits and gas masks while each holding a Corona.

In a statement to Newshub, Lion - which distributes Corona in New Zealand - said it wants the advertisement to be canned.

"We were unaware of the promotion and we do not condone it. We will be asking that it is discontinued," it said.

House on Hood's Facebook advertisement.
House on Hood's Facebook advertisement. Photo credit: Facebook/House on Hood

Facebook comments on House on Hood's post were mixed, with many people criticising the bar for the "worst advertisement ever".

"Didn't like [it] at all. Worst advertisement ever. More than 130 people have died and many more is still suffering, whereas you guys are making fun of it, just to earn more money for your business," one commenter said.

"How on earth do you think this is ok?! You wouldn't run a '$6.50 on all Aussie beers for the entire bush fire season' so why is this okay," another wrote.

But others found the post funny and said it was "brilliant".

"Hahah love it!! Stop complaining and come in for cheap ronas!! Cheers boys," a person said.

"Bloody good advertising! Let's hope the beers keep flowing," another person commented.

John Lawrenson, CEO of the Lawrenson Group, which owns House on Hood, told Newshub in a statement he wanted to thank all the outraged commenters on Facebook for helping with the promotion.

"We had seen a number of clever plays on coronavirus versus Corona beer and decided to do something similar, as we felt that it fit with the irreverent style of humour we often use at House," Lawrenson said.

"We know that there will always be a small but loud group who get very offended on everyone else's behalf but we figured that most people would chuckle and get on with their day and that certainly seems to be the case.

"To those expressing their outrage I would say that just because you are outraged, it doesn't mean that everyone else is. They should probably be putting their efforts into something more constructive than typing furiously into their keyboards."

The coronavirus has killed 132 people so far, and there are more than 5900 confirmed cases in China.