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‘Corona Beer Virus?’ The global epidemic is taking a hit on the brand

Corona is taking a public relations hit because of fears over the name’s similarity to the deadly virus. A recent survey of American beer drinkers found that 38% of those asked will not buy Corona beer and 16% are confused if Corona beer is related to the coronavirus, USA Today reported.

5WPR, the company that conducted the survey and released the results this week, also found that 14% of those who would normally buy Corona, won’t do it in public. A second survey conducted by YouGov said that the Buzz score for Corona beer has fallen from a high of 75 at the beginning of January to 51 at the end of February. The intent to buy the brand is also at the lowest as it has been in two years, YouGov reported.

Constellation Brands, which own Corona Extra in the U.S. among other brands, took 6% hit Thursday in the stock market as the entire financial system falls because of coronavirus fears. Overall the company’s stock was down about 18%, The New York Times reported.

But the company’s spokeswoman, Maggie Bowman, said the survey is misinformation and that sales are still strong. In the four weeks that ended February 16, sales grew 5%, Constellation said in a Friday afternoon press release. The company said that its customers “understand there is no link between the virus and our business.

The company is doubling down on that belief and is going to go through with the launch of a new product, a Corona-branded hard seltzer that some say is “ill-timed”.

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