Washington: Rapper Snoop Dogg has come under fire for promoting a new fruity alcoholic drink called ‘Blast’ that is being marketed to underage drinkers.
The alcoholic fruit drink made by Pabst Brewing Co. has been asked to be taken off the market by 18 state attorneys general, who have termed it a “Binge-in-a-Can”.
The Pabst product is called “Blast by Colt 45”, has a much higher alcohol content than beer and comes in such flavours as grape, strawberry watermelon and blueberry pomegranate.
The fruit flavours, as well as the marketing, is oriented towards youthful drinkers, maintain the AGs, who have a history of getting such products removed from the market.
Pabst, which begins sale of the product this month, has in a statement denied it is marketing the product to underage drinkers.
The 18 attorneys general, both Republicans and Democrats and from a wide range of states from California to Iowa to Massachusetts, sent a letter to Pabst asking it to take Blast off the market.
Blast contains 12 percent alcohol compared with 4 percent to 6 percent for most beers. It is being promoted on hip-hop radio stations, at concerts, and by popular hip-hop/rap artist Snoop Dogg.
According to the state AGs, each can of the product, which comes as large as 23.5 ounces, is equal to drinking as much as five servings of alcohol.
“The problem with this product is that it is marketed at kids, young African-American children,” Christian Science Monitor quoted Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler, who is leading the AGs’ effort to end production of the product, as saying.
“It’s being marketed through Facebook and Twitter,” he revealed.
The problem with Blast is that one of its major marketing efforts is with Snoop Dogg, a popular performer and media star who has over 3 million followers on his Twitter account.
“Some are young, some are old,” Paul Porter, who runs Industryears.com, a media think tank in Washington, said.
“Here’s a guy who was a presenter at Nickleodeon’s Kids Choice Awards and then has a party for Blast. He does some good things, which is what makes it confusing.
“I love Snoop Dogg to death but he’s wrong on this one,” he added.