Snoop Dogg is coming under fire for his promotion of a new Colt 45 product, an alcoholic energy drink being produced by Pabst Blue Ribbon. Over 15 state and city officials are pressing demands for Pabst to stop calling “Blast by Colt 45” a single-serving beverage and alter their marketing plans.
One of the attorneys general, Lisa Madigan of Illinois, sent a letter to Pabst Thursday calling for a reduction in the alcohol content. According to a release from her office, she claims the product packaging and celebrity endorsement makes the product more attractive to minors.
A 23.5 ounce container of Blast contains a 12 percent alcohol according to Madigan’s office, making it the “equivalent to drinking an entire six-pack of typical American beer.” The complaint also contends “brightly colored cans and fruit flavors” attract underage drinkers to “binge-in-a-can.”
Officials in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Guam, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah and Washington, and the San Francisco city attorney have all expressed concerns with the beverage.
One watchdog group, the Marin Institute, claims having entertainer Snoop Dogg promote the product is an “obvious attempt to target urban youth.” Michael J. Scippa, public affairs director claims “we have always considered them cocktails on training wheels. It’s a way to bridge young consumers’ fondness for juices and sodas to alcohol.”
Pabst’s owner, Daren Metropoulos, said in an interview with The New York Times that the accusations lack merit. “It’s not like our distributors are putting it in the soda section, and these are clearly designated as an alcoholic product.”
“Alcohol abuse among young people is a serious and alarming epidemic,” Madigan said in a statement. “A product like this only serves to glamorize alcohol abuse and promote binge drinking, threatening the safety of those consuming it.”
This is not the first time Madigan has gone after the alcohol industry. In 2007 and 2008, Madigan targeted another line of energy drinks that contained alcohol. The makers eventually pulled their product from production.