Press Release from Tennessee Attorney General Robert E. Cooper, April 21, 2011:
Attorney General Urges Pabst Brewing to Halt ‘Binge in a Can’ Alcoholic Drink Promotions, Sales to Young People
Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper has joined several other attorneys general who are asking Pabst Brewing Company to reevaluate the current manufacturing and marketing of its Blast by Colt 45, which contains 12 percent alcohol in a single 23.5 ounce can. The attorneys general further urge the company to take steps to ensure that its marketing of Blast by Colt 45 does not target underage youth.
In a joint letter to the company’s CEO and chairman, the attorneys general noted that such a highly concentrated alcoholic drink, manufactured and marketed as a single serving, amounts to a “binge in a can.” The 23.5 ounce can of Blast contains 4.7 servings of alcohol when compared to 0.6 fluid ounces of alcohol in one standard serving, and drinking such a quantity in a short period of time amounts to binge drinking. “It also typically results in acute intoxication that can be harmful for a variety of reasons, including impaired brain function, resulting in poor judgment, reduced reaction time, loss of balance and motor skills, and slurred speech. Coma and death can occur if alcohol is consumed rapidly and in large amounts,” the letter stated.
The letter expresses concern that the company is targeting young people by using a hip-hop celebrity spokesman (Snoop Dog) who is popular with the under-21 crowd. Additionally, the product comes in fruit flavors contained in brightly-colored cans. The ads are also accessible to viewers of all ages on social media sites such as YouTube and Twitter.
“At a time when we’re fighting to prevent underage drinking and binge drinking, we call on Pabst to rethink the dangers posed by Blast,” Attorney General Cooper said. “We hope Pabst will take swift action to address these problems and that other companies will heed these warnings as well.”
The Tennessee Attorney General’s Office is part of the National Association of Attorneys General Youth Access to Alcohol Task Force which focuses attention on several key areas related to underage drinking. The group has and continues to work with alcohol manufacturers and other governmental agencies to stop youth exposure to alcohol marketing.