Coronavirus may have nothing to do with Corona beer, but Americans are starting to draw a connection. A new survey shows an uptick in searches like “Corona beer virus” and “beer coronavirus” as the virus continues to spread. In fact, it showed that 38% of Americans wouldn’t buy Corona, the beer, under any circumstances right now.
To be clear, there’s no such thing as a Corona beer virus, or a beer coronavirus. You obviously can’t catch the coronavirus by drinking a Corona.
Still, here are the results of a phone survey conducted by 5W Public Relations, with 737 American beer drinkers across Feb. 25-26, regarding their opinions about Corona these days:
- Among the people who usually drink Corona, only 4% said they would consider stopping drinking the beer
- Among the people who usually drink Corona, 14% said they wouldn’t order Corona publicly these days
- 16% of beer drinking Americans weren’t sure if Corona was related to the coronavirus
In a statement regarding the results of the survey, Ronn Torossian, Founder and CEO of 5WPR, said, “There is no question that Corona beer is suffering because of the coronavirus.”
He continued, “Could one imagine walking into a bar and saying ‘Hey, can I have a Corona?’ or ‘Pass me A Corona?’ While the brand has claimed that consumers understand there’s no linkage between the virus and the beer company, this is a disaster for the Corona brand. After all, what brand wants to be linked to a virus which is killing people worldwide?”
Here’s what you need to know:
Searches for ‘Corona Beer Virus’ & ‘Beer Coronavirus’ Prompt Outcry on Twitter: ‘How Do You Process This?’
In response to the news about an apparent confusion around the connection (or lack thereof) between coronavirus and Corona, the beer, many people seem to be in shock that this is a problem at all.
“So you mean to tell me that people have stopped buying Corona beer because they think that— Yeah Americans are truly very special,” one person tweeted.
“Eagerly awaiting Corona beer sales for Q1 so we can finally determine whether all press is indeed good press,” another person tweeted.
Reps for Corona maintain that they believe their customers understand the difference between beer and a deadly virus. One spokesperson said to CNN Business, “Sales of Corona remain very strong and we appreciate the continued support from our fans. Our advertising with Corona is consistent with the campaign we have been running for the last 30 years and is based off strong consumer sentiment.”
CNN notes that searches for “Corona beer virus” peaked in February, and have since been at a steady decline.
Other people noted the far-reaching implications of such drastic misinformation about a virus. “If 38% of Americans wouldn’t buy Corona beer because of the coronavirus, imagine how many Americans are racist against Asian people because of the coronavirus too,” one person tweeted. “Fear and ignorance often lead to violence, as history has painfully shown time and time again.”
“Education is the backbone of a strong democracy & let’s be clear — that 38% of Americans relate Corona [beer] to coronavirus is not an indication of abject capacity, it’s indication of failing education/social policies. It’s time to invest in education,” another person tweeted.
Another person noted how small the survey was, and how it was being falsely conflated as a “study.”
“I’ve been seeing this everywhere today — note that there were 737 people surveyed, so when you see ‘38% of Americans wouldn’t buy Corona’ because of the virus outbreak that actually means ~280 people said they wouldn’t,” that person pointed out.