People Are Confusing Coronavirus With Imaginary Corona Beer Virus

Coronavirus. Corona beer. Two very different things.

January 28, 2020

(WWJ) One is, arguably, a mildly refreshing summer drink that includes alcohol. The other could kill you.

People, let's keep the two apart.

This comes up because numerous outlets reported that Google searches spiked for the phrase "Corona beer virus," after news circulated about the deadly coronavirus that could be spiraling across the globe from China to the United States. 

Coronavirus. Corona beer. Two very different things.

Now we're willing to accept -- for the sake of humanity -- the idea that Google is auto completing the search and people really are looking for coronavirus information without the word "beer." Others may think we're being too generous so let's underscore the point: Corona beer is in no way the cause of coronavirus.

Don't believe people are confusing the two? See the search map here on Google trends and note the spike for Corona beer virus searches when news of the coronavirus started to spread. Why are so many people in Nevada and Oklahoma confused? We'll let you come to your own answer, but don't expect one to come from the fine people of Oregon or Maryland.

People are confusing corona beer with corona beer virus

WWJ Newsradio talked to Wayne State Marketing Professor Jeffrey Stoltman about whether the possible confusion between the name of the beer and the virus should spur the beer to rebrand. Stoltman said no.

"I think that's the consensus among public relations and marketing professionals on chat boards, etc. It's at this point a case of mistaken identity, if you want to label it as such. I think the concern comes out of our new world here where everything can be found at the touch of your fingertips on your mobile device. Apparently, there's a very large number of people in a very populated country -- India -- that sort of started the ball rolling on this and then individuals such as yourself who kind of wondered the same thing. But so far, other than Google searches, there's no indication of damage to the brand, and quite frankly, I, and a number of others don't think there will be."

He added Corona beer is monitoring the virus situation closely, but is most likely "not going to try to capitalize on it."

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