Heineken Promotes Hard Cider With Teetotaler

Heineken used the wrong man's picture to promote its cider

Heineken accidentally used the picture of a famous teetotal minister to advertise Bulmers hard cider.

Celebrating a brand's storied history is an excellent way to advertise, but companies should always make sure they're talking about the right people, because mistakes can be really embarrassing. Bulmers, a Heinekin-owned brand of hard cider popular in the U.K., recently discovered that when they accidentally put a renowned teetotaler in their ads and said, "we hope he'd be proud." 

According to Food Navigator, Bulmers was founded in 1889 when Fred and Percy Bulmer borrowed money from their father to found the business. A recent ad in GQ magazine celebrated that heritage with the photo of a serious-looking Victorian gentleman, who was supposedly the father, Reverend CH Bulmer.

"We hope he'd be proud that they used his money wisely, and that Bulmers cider continues to be made in Hereford to this day," the ad read.

It was a nice thought, but the man in the photo was not Reverend Bulmer. Instead the advertising agency had picked up a picture of Hugh Price Hughes, a teetotal Methodist minister who spent his life helping alcoholics and strongly advocated temperance.

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Heineken has since pulled the ads and says they will not run again in with Hughes' image on them. A spokesperson said the company offered an "unreserved apology for the concern and embarrassment that our error caused."