Blast, Snoop Dogg and Attorneys General

The same group of Attorneys General that went after products like Four Loko, Sparks, Tilt and and others have set their sights on Blast by Colt 45 which is a fruity malt liquor made by Pabst Brewing Co.

What gives this effort a bit of a twist is that Blast contains 12% alcohol by volume in a 23.5-ounce can. Second, rapper Snoop Dogg is promoting the brand. So, the combination of extra octane, the fruity flavors and packaging plus the spokesperson has led the AGs to request that Pabst pull the product.

I remember Snoop when he was known as Snoop Doggy Dogg, his longer and more elegant name. We had just introduced Seagram’s Gin & Juice (basically an RTD/premix) and by coincidence Mr. Snoop had a best selling hit called “Gin & Juice” – a top 10 hit and on the charts for months. We did not pay for the “placement” and he was singing about the generic concept of mixing gin and juice, but, never mind, Seagram’s G&J flew off the shelves.

Mr. Snoop can move product either by happenstance or intent.

I don’t think that his involvement precipitated the AG action on its own. But in conjunction with the size and alcohol, bright colored cans and flavors well… Ah, the flavors – Raspberry Watermelon, Strawberry Lemonade, to name just two.

I understand the products are doing well but Pabst, with a long history and heritage of outstanding quality beers, needs to think about responsibility in its products. Brands like Blast — which is being referred to as “binge in a can” – only serves to engender the ire of regulators, the Attorneys General, the taxation folks and the self appointed anti-alcohol watchdogs.

For a company who markets such iconic brands like Stroh, Schlitz, Lone Star, Olympia, Pabst, to name a few, well, let’s just say that Blast doesn’t live up to the beer brewing legacy and class.

With or without the Snoop-ster.

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