Forty years ago, Black people started to use graffiti art as a means of social and political expression. It was also used as a way to bring beauty to otherwise ugly conditions. Now it’s being used by malt liquor companies to sell Colt 45. Do some of these corporations have any dignity at all? I know, I know: It’s a malt-liquor company, of course not.
Thankfully, by the time I started to tackle this, I read that protests from various residents of Philly – where the ad is placed – have led to it being painted over.
“Works every time?” Apparently not. Still, isn’t this despicable? The person that allowed the faux mural to be painted on his wall is no less despicable.
Jeff Rosenblum, the owner of Jay’s Pedal Power on Girard Avenue, has a graffiti-style ad painted on the wall next to his bike shop. It shows young people dancing in a party setting while they drink malt liquor. It features the Colt 45 slogan: “Works every time.”
Rosenblum said he had reviewed the design beforehand and “personally did not see anything offensive.”
But the city says ads like that one, placed by Pabst Brewing Co. around Fishtown and South Street, are illegal because they were put up without permission and wants them taken down.
“I think it’s totally silly,” Rosenblum said of the complaints. He said the city and civic organizations should go after big billboards and leave small-business operators like himself alone.”
Translation: I have 40 ounces to sell.
I understand that business is business, and alcohol and tobacco products are a fixture of American society and companies advertise to every group (although more emphasis is placed on certain groups more than others), but this ad is tactless and transparent.
Somehow I doubt you’ll see this ad in the suburbs or near any swank downtown luxury apartment complexes. Just the other day the people over at Ciroc Vodka essentially won the biggest prize at this year’s BET Awards. Still, Ciroc Vodka advertises to every Vodka enthusiast. It’s clear Colt 45 is targeting one type of group with this ad campaign?
“Yo, enjoy our frosty malt beverage responsibly?”
Yo my nuts, Colt 45.