Several attorneys general from around the United States have denounced a new beverage by the creators of Colt .45 malt liquor.
Blast, a new fruity drink made by Pabst, has twice the alcohol content as the original Colt .45 malt liquor, presented in a can that looks more like soda than beer.
“Pabst has sunk to a new low by selling highly alcoholic drinks aimed at the youngest drinkers,” Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff told Consumer Affairs. “Blast is irresponsible for making one drink that can cause someone to be legally drunk.”
A letter signed by the attorneys general from 16 states and Guam and the San Francisco city attorney details the beverage’s hazards, labeling it a “public safety threat.”
“Blast’s packaging and marketing impliedly represent that the product is fit to be consumed as a single-serving, ready-to-drink alcoholic beverage, when in fact a single can contains nearly five servings of alcohol, and doing so would be dangerous,” the letter states.
Despite the rising controversy, hip-hop star Snoop Dogg has continued his endorsement of Pabst products and will be the pitch man for Blast. Daren Metropoulos, co-owner of Pabst, told The New York Times that Snoop Dogg continues to be an integral part of the success of their product lines.
“That’s just him being a true partner and saying ‘I’m not just an endorser,’” said Metropoulos. “Whether he’s putting it in his songs or having his posse drinking it, its part of his lifestyle.”
However, Tom Burrell, author of “Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority” told the Times that Snoop Dogg’s involvement was in fact a ploy to target young Black men as part of a marketing campaign for the beverage..
“What is happening here is an obvious attempt to foist this stuff on young African-American men,” Mr. Burrell said. “Colt .45 has invested in the black consumer market for years, and if they weren’t looking for an African-American audience they wouldn’t be using Snoop Dogg.”
The attorneys general are asking that Pabst reduce the number of alcohol servings in Blast so it will no longer be a “binge-in-a-can” product, while also seeking the brewer to change its marketing strategy away from targeting consumers under the age of 21.