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Coors Light ad raising eyebrows in Puerto Rican community

THE BRONX (PIX11) – There is a new controversy being served up on the corner of Grand Concourse and East 161st.  At a bus stop in the shadows of the Bronx Supreme Court, a Coors Light ad is brewing questions from the Puerto Rican community with its “Emboricuate” ads — Spanish for “become Puerto Rican.”

Coors Light is a sponsor of the Puerto Rican Day Parade, the inspiration for the message.  The ads, however, show large bottles of beer with the “Emboricuate” message below, and the only mention of the parade in tiny print.

“That is really wrong. I can’t believe that they would allow that or even put that on there like that.  That doesn’t look right at all,” says Eva De La Cruz.

There are approximately three million Puerto Ricans in New York, and a handful that PIX11 spoke to — along with others from various backgrounds — were offended when they came across the ad.  “I was looking at that sign and Boricua means a breed of people, I don’t think that drinking represents our culture that way, I think that is not good advertisement,” says David Madera.

A few feet away from him, a Puerto Rican man sitting on the steps of the Courthouse drinking a Pepsi, who would only identify himself as Juan, added, “That is like saying that us Puerto Ricans, that, ‘Hey we just get drunk!’. . . it’s not like that you know.”

PIX 11 first learned of the story after being contacted by a Puerto Rican viewer upset at the bust stop ad.  We then contacted Millers/Coors, an official sponsor of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, for their side and a spokesman responded with the following:

“We would never produce advertising in any neighborhood or community that suggests, encourages, or endorses getting drunk, which is against industry advertising practices and our own marketing compliance code. We have a strong track record of responsible advertising and marketing.  We have always produced ads that encourage our consumers to enjoy our products responsibly. This specific ad is about celebrating the Puerto Rican culture and becoming part of the Puerto Rican Day celebrations.”

This is the third year of Miller/Coors rolling out the “Emboricuate” campaign.  The marketing strategy is part of the rollout to hype the annual Puerto Rican Day Parade.

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