Corona says it isn't concerned about its advertising campaigns, despite polling from a PR firm that indicates that some associate the beer with the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 — the disease commonly known as coronavirus.
In a statement to CNN, Constellation Brands — the parent company of all of Corona's beer varieties — said that sales of the beer "remain very strong."
"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," spokesperson Stephanie McGuane told CNN.
However, polling by 5W Public Relations indicates that some consumers are beginning to associate the beer with the virus outbreak. The firm reports that 16 percent of beer drinking Americans were confused about whether Corona beer is related to the coronavirus, and 38 percent of Americans would not buy Corona beer "under any circumstances."
The firm also reported that only 4 percent of people who usually drink Corona would stop drinking the beer entirely, but 14 percent said they would stop drinking the beer in a public setting.
The findings are the result of a phone survey with 737 Americans, which was conducted earlier this week.
The survey also comes amid criticism of an ad campaign for Corona's new line of hard seltzers, which have just hit the market. One sponsored tweet, which is set on a beach like dozens of past Corona ads, proclaims its four new seltzer flavors are "coming ashore soon."
Introducing Corona Hard Seltzer. Four delicious flavors. One splashy entrance. pic.twitter.com/XrPPr6nWrB
— Corona USA (@coronaextrausa) February 24, 2020
Truth. EXTREMELY POOR TASTE.
Pun intended. Not your fsult, but-this? Seriously?
bc btw, now youve ensured that Ill never buy it ever again.
Plenty if other beers on tbe planet, if we live through this unrolling deadly highly contagious spreading virus.
— Wycked Yum 🔄 (@Wycked_Yum) February 27, 2020
Perhaps, “Coming ashore soon” wasn’t the greatest new slogan choice. #corona
— Michael Carbonaro (@carbonaro) February 27, 2020
CNBC reports that Corona still plans to spend more than $40 million in marketing the new drinks.
Constellation Brand's stock fell 6 percent on Thursday, though that drop came amid a historic day of losses on Wall Street.
Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.