It definitely wouldn't be hard to lure kids to any product with a campaign that combines Snoop Dogg, alcohol, and sugar.
Which is what has one anti-alcohol group concerned. The Marin Institute is taking on the alcopop industry with an online petition asking Pabst Blue Ribbon to pull its latest supersized alcopop drink, Blast, even before it has made it to the shelves.
So far, 200 people have signed the petition, which asks that the Los Angeles-based company stop concocting the 23-ounce alcoholic beverages that are so packed with sugar and alcohol that they can give youngsters the kick of four beers in one single can.
"The object is to get hammered -- and fast," said Michael Scippa, spokesman for the Marin Institute. "It encourages binge drinking, and that's why it's such a threat."
It's not just that these kiddie cocktails are superlarge, but alcopops are also supercheap; they cost roughly $3 a can, which makes it all that more appealing to low-income, urban kids who can't afford a six-pack of beer.
The Marin group is also irked by the company's marketing ploy -- Pabst has tapped popular hip-hop artist Snoop Dogg to be the face of the campaign for Blast. The Institute is asking that Pabst boot the Dogg as its celebrity spokesman for the alcopop.
"In their own literature, they talk about bringing young black women into the mix," Scippa told SF Weekly. "It's exploitation."
But let's be honest. A petition, even with thousands of signatures, won't bring Blast to a screeching halt. Scippa acknowledged this, and told SF Weekly that's why his group is trying to camp onto Sen. Alex Padilla's (D-Los Angeles) existing legislation aimed at banning alcopop drinks with caffeine.
That legislation, he said, doesn't go far enough.
"That doesn't solve the problem of supersized drinks," he says. "This is an opportunity for Mr. Padilla to make his bill stronger."
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