From The Grio — ‘Blast’ by Colt 45 received a less than enthusiastic welcome to the market place last April when several politicians expressed concern that the drink was essentially a “binge-in-a-can”.
Fair media advocate Paul Porter of Industry Ears, says that after the initial media blitz, elected officials have not pursued the issue and that Colt 45 is continuing to market the product to young African-Americans. “My shock is that there has not been adequate follow up,” stated Porter.
On April 21, 2011 Douglas F. Gansler, Maryland’s Attorney General wrote to Pabst Brewing Company, the maker of Blast by Colt 45, on behalf of himself and 17 other attorney generals. Porter provided theGrio with a letter from Lavely & Singer, a law office that represents Pabst. The letter from Pabst’s Attorney is dated May 4, 2011; it responds to issues that were raised in Gansler’s correspondence. Porter says that it was leaked to him about a week ago. When asked to comment, David Paulson, a representative for Maryland’s Attorney General stated, the office “continues to work on this issue to protect the victims of underage and binge drinking.”
Porter expressed disappointment that Gansler has not continued to pursue the issue, particularly in light of the content of Pabst’s letter. “I’m upset that they are trying to hit the racist button as their defense. I just found that hilarious,” said Porter. Pabst’s letter questions whether “subtle racism” has enhanced the elected officials focus on Blast.
The letter states “Blast is being unfairly targeted because the product is endorsed by a spokesman who is an ethnic minority.” Blasts primary spokesperson is Snoop Dogg. The rapper has been featured in advertisements for Blast that range from social media to traditional advertising on radio and in magazines.
Pabst maintains that it is committed to the responsible consumption of alcohol by those over the legal drinking age. Porter says that Pabst racism charge is a feeble attempt to confuse the serious issues around a dangerous product, “As if they have been championing African-American causes, when all they are selling is liquor.”
Blast has an alcohol content of 12 percent, which is higher than the average beer at about 6 percent, but less than most wine. Advocates and elected officials have stated that Blast is dangerous because of its high alcohol content combined with its large serving size.