Puerto Rican-Inspired Beer Can Sparks Controversy


American beer company Coors has revealed a new marketing campaign for their beverage as a part of its sponsorship of New York’s Puerto Rican Day Parade. The new design of the Coors Light can reads “cerveza official”, followed by the Puerto Rican flag in the shape of an apple, the Huffington Post reported.
The design has sparked an outrage among Puerto Ricans locally and nationwide, who are harshly criticizing the new can and how it associates drinking with their flag.
The report said the theme of the 2013 Puerto Rican Day parade is to observe the importance of health in the community. The annual parade’s slogan this year is, “Salud – Celebrating Your Health,” and some feel Coors’ campaign turns the slogan into a mixed message for consumers.
“Here we are, the parade’s theme this year is about health, looking at the disparities in our community and how do we really promote better options,” City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito said. Having a Coors Light can draped in the Puerto Rican flag is both “the greatest irony of all” and “in poor, poor taste”, she added.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Puerto Ricans are the leading Hispanic group in relation to consumption of alcoholic beverages per week, averaging 16.9. The institute also states that this consumption only increases with acclimation to United States culture.
This is not the first negative encounter Coors has faced with the Pueto Rican community because of incentive advertising campaigns. In 2011, Coors launched “Emboricuate,” intended to mean, “Puerto Ricanize Yourself.” “Emborrachate,” a similar sounding word meaning, “get drunk,” can be easily confused with the intended campaign slogan, which caused a controversy within the community. 
(Photo by PetroleumJellliffe via Flickr)