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For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Raquel Guillory, 410-576-6357
rguillory@oag.state.md.us

Attorney General Gansler Calls on Pabst Brewing to End Production of Blast
“Binge-in-a-Can” Targets Youth;
Flavored Malt Beverage Poses Serious Health Risks

BALTIMORE, MD ( April 21, 2011) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler today sent a letter to Pabst Brewing Company, asking the company to end production and sale of its new Blast by Colt 45.  Attorney General Gansler says the new flavored malt beverage currently marketed and packaged as a “binge-in-a-can” targets youth, particularly young African-Americans.  

Earlier this month, Pabst introduced its Blast by Colt 45 as a flavored malt beverage in fruit flavors of grape, strawberry lemonade, strawberry watermelon, and blueberry pomegranate, with an alcohol concentration of 12% in brightly colored 23.5 ounce single serving cans.  Each single serving actually contains the equivalent of nearly five servings of alcohol.  Anyone who consumes a can of Blast within an hour will have engaged in binge drinking as defined by public health authorities.

“At a time when we’re fighting to prevent underage and binge drinking, 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,” said Attorney General Gansler.  “I hope our letter asking Pabst to take swift and responsible action will also be heeded by other companies who produce these unsafe ‘supersized’ alcopops.”

In addition to offering Blast in youth-friendly flavors, 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.

Attorney General Gansler’s letter to Pabst, signed by 17 other Attorneys General, urges Pabst to take immediate steps to significantly reduce the number of servings of alcohol presented in a single serving container to eliminate the serious public safety risks posed by this “binge-in-a-can” product.  The Attorneys General also ask that Pabst take steps to ensure that its marketing of this product does not expressly or implicitly target an audience that is under the legal drinking age.

The Attorneys General for  Arizona, California, Connecticut, Guam, Idaho, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, and Washington, along with the city attorney of San Francisco also signed the letter
   

Attorney General of Maryland 1 (888) 743-0023 toll-free / TDD: (410) 576-6372
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