The attorneys general of 16 states and Guam and the city attorney of San Francisco sent a letter Thursday to the CEO of Pabst Brewing Co. urging the brewer to reduce the amount of alcohol in its new Blast malt alcohol drink, claiming the company is marketing the drink to underage people.
Blast, which contains 12 percent alcohol by volume and comes in a 23.5-ounce can, is endorsed by rapper Snoop Dogg. The drink, released earlier this month, comes in flavors such as grape, raspberry watermelon, blueberry pomegranate, and strawberry lemonade, which the attorneys said are "youth-friendly."
"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," they wrote. "We also are aware of concerns that Pabst's marketing of Blast is targeting young African-Americans."
Last fall, a similar drink, Four Loko, came under fire because several college students were hospitalized after drinking them. The Food and Drug Administration required Phusion Projects, Four Loko's parent company, to remove the caffeine from the product. Blast does not contain caffeine.
This isn't the first time the drink has come under fire—in a March letter to the New York State liquor board, New York City Council Member Robert Jackson asked the state to ban sales of the drink.
A 2004 study by the American Medical Association found that teen drinkers prefer sweet-flavored "alcopops" like Blast over other alcoholic drinks, and that half of all teen girls had seen alcopop ads, compared to just 34 percent of women 21 or older.