Heineken exposes sexist football fans in social media experiment

Sexism in football is not limited to the unwanted kisses of Spanish World Cup winning coach Luis Rubiales, as Heineken’s latest campaign proves.

Working with agencies Le Pub and Edelman, Heineken drafted in former England players Jill Scott and Gary Neville to perform a social media experiment. They posted from each other’s social media accounts for five days and then the compared the responses they got.

Posting as Neville, Scott was taken seriously and her opinions were considered balanced and thoughtful. But when Neville posted as Scott, he was told to get back in the kitchen. Despite the growing popularity of women’s football, it seems that too many men are, like Rubiales, clinging on to their sexist ways.

To give people a break from the sexist onslaught, the campaign is allowing a limited number of social media users free access to Arwen AI, a tool that filters out negativity from their social media feed by hiding unwanted or offensive comments and spam.

Jill Scott said: “Attitudes have definitely changed, but there’s no doubt that female fans, pundits and players still get a lot more online negativity than men. You develop a thick skin – but we shouldn’t have to.”

Gary Neville said; “By putting myself in Jill’s shoes and seeing the reaction, I have seen first-hand the uglier side of this sport that I love and want to make it clear that football is for everyone. On the pitch and online, we should treat each other with respect no matter our gender, race, sexuality or what colour shirt we’re wearing.”