Snoop Dogg Criticized for Promoting 'Blast' Malt Liquor in Letter by Law Officials That, Ironically, Puts The Drink on The Map For Kids
It's a Blast.
The Snoop Dogg-promoted Blast malt liquor is being targeted by law officials across the land for being a "binge in a can."
The fruity, 23.5 ounce concoctions contain 12 percent alcohol, about three times the amount in a 12-ounce can of Budweiser.
Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler was joined by 17 other state attorney generals in writing a letter to the CEO of Pabst Brewing Company -- asking it to halt production. What's kind of funny about this is ...
... the letter, in some passages, comes off as a marketing document. And, given all the headlines it has created, it has so far only served to put Blast on the map (we hardly knew it existed).
Here's a taste of Gansler's ad copy:
You offer this product in fruit flavors of grape, strawberry lemonade, strawberry watermelon, blueberry pomegranate, with an alcohol concentration of 12 percent (ABV) in brightly colored 23.5 ounce cans.
UCLA Bruins Men's Soccer vs. Oregon State Beavers Men's Soccer
TicketsSun., Oct. 2, 3:00pm
Anaheim Ducks v. Los Angeles Kings
TicketsSun., Oct. 2, 5:00pm
NBA Preseason Basketball: Los Angeles Lakers v Sacramento Kings
TicketsTue., Oct. 4, 7:00pm
Premium Level - NBA Preseason Basketball: Lakers v Sacramento Kings
TicketsTue., Oct. 4, 7:00pm
Um. Sounds like a refreshing, good time to us. Where do we sign up?
But wait, there's more: The Maryland AG argues that one can of Blast contains the equivalent of nearly five standard alcoholic beverages and will, by itself, get the average person to the DUI borderline of .08 blood alcohol level.
Most importantly, Gansler thinks the employment of L.A.'s own Snoop Dogg as an endorser aims Blast squarely at the under-21 crowd:
... Pabst has chosen as its celebrity spokesperson, hip-hop/rap music artist Snoop Dogg, who is popular among persons under 21 and whose promotional videos for blast are accessible to viewers of all ages on social media sites such as YouTube and Twitter.
(Eh, actually counselor, Snoop is old enough to be the grandfather of a teenager, and Twitter doesn't host videos).
Pabst chief marketing officer Jon Sayer told CNN this:
As with all Pabst products, our marketing efforts for Blast are focused on conveying the message of drinking responsibly. To that end, the alcohol content of Blast is clearly marked on its packaging.
Gansler still wants action:
" ... We call upon Pabst to rethink the dangers posed by Blast, promoted by a popular hip-hop celebrity, as a 'binge-in-a-can' in sweet flavors and bright colors aimed at the youngest drinkers," Gansler stated.
We like this campaign. Puts fruity, high-octane alcohol front-and-center so all the kids know its there. If they didn't know this drink was for them, they sure do now.
Pabst couldn't have paid for better publicity.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss LA Weekly's biggest stories.