There’s a lesson to be learned in Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s campaign against Blast, the new fruit-flavored malt liquor from Colt .45: Billy Dee Williams is way too old to move this stuff anymore.
Remember when Billy Dee was the face of Colt .45? His blaxploitation ads, like the one below, were eventually satirized by Saturday Night Live, which had Tim Meadows hawking a malt liquor called Coldcock.
But Billy Dee Williams is 74 years old, so Colt .45 had to find a new slightly-over-the-hill African-American entertainer to promote Blast. Snoop Dogg is a perfect choice. He played Huggy Bear in Starsky and Hutch, giving him blaxploitation cred. And he’s a longtime promoter of substance abuse. On Wednesday -- 4/20 -- he Tweeted his followers a photo of himself with a giant pipe.
Here’s Madigan’s press release on the dangers of Blast:
Attorney General Lisa Madigan sent a letter today to Pabst Brewing Company, based in Woodridge, Ill., urging the company to lessen the alcohol concentration in its new malt beverage marketed under the name Blast. Madigan is especially concerned over the product’s potential danger to minors.
“Alcohol abuse among young people is a serious and alarming epidemic,” Attorney General Madigan said. “A product like this only serves to glamorize alcohol abuse and promote binge drinking, threatening the safety of those consuming it.”
The Attorneys General’s letter, joined by 17 other state, city and territory officials, details concerns over Blast, which amounts to a “binge-in-a-can.” The 12-percent alcohol concentration of Blast means a single 23.5 ounce container is equivalent to drinking an entire six-pack of typical American beer. Madigan said the promotion and marketing of Blast appeals to minors, with its brightly colored cans and fruit flavors and a marketing campaign featuring hip-hop artist Snoop Dogg.
Do the kids even like Snoop Dogg anymore? His last album, Malice n Wonderland, was his lowest-charting ever. He did duet with Katy Perry on “California Gurls.” My guess is that Pabst is trying to reach an older demographic than Madigan thinks they are. If she followed rap music more closely, she might realize that.
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