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Marketing Malt Liquor (case Study)

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Case 6. Marketing Malt Liquor

Ð'* January 1991 the company filed for protection in the NY bankruptcy court, claiming a large debt.

Ð'* G. Heileman introduced PowerMaster a Malt Liquor with 5.9 percent alcohol content

o Law states beer over 4% alcohol content to be labeled as a malt

o Typical Malt beer is 5.5%

o Typical Average beer is 3.5%

Ð'* Summer 1991, the Surgeon General and advocacy group led by the Center for Science in the Public Interest launched a campaign to remove PowerMaster from Store Shelves.

Ð'* PowerMaster received pressure from anti-alcohol and African-American activists

o Advertising Campaign

Ð'§ Black Male Models

Ð'§ Attracted young black and males (make up 1/3 of malt liquor consumption)

Ð'§ Urban youth

o The U.S. Surgeon General called the PowerMaster campaign insensitive

Ð'§ Would pursue legal action if the brand name wasn't dropped

Ð'§ Heileman Brewing Co. discontinued the product

o Government was criticized for getting involved

Ð'§ One newspaper columnist cited another brewing company and their advertising slogan (OE "It's the power") not being challenged

o James Sanders, President of the DC based Beer Institute claimed the government focused on PowerMaster to avoid the real factors the black community faced such as unemployment and poverty

Questions:

1. Would it be deceptive or manipulative advertising to call your beer "PowerMaster" and to use black male models?

a. Manipulative Advertising Ð'- PowerMaster is a name used like all other brands of malt liquor (Magnum, Panther, Steel Reserve, Camo, Colt 45) to depict individuals with a status of power and masculinity. This is the first of two products pulled off the shelves for the Heileman Brewing Company (CrazyHorse;

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