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Coors angers some Puerto Ricans by placing flag on beer cans

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Cold beer has the blood boiling from the City Council to the Bronx.

The Puerto Rican Day Parade is only weeks away, and once again, parade officials along with Coors Light are serving up controversy for the community

Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito is furious that the parade and MillerCoors would actually place a Puerto Rican flag on a Coors Light can and include a similar patriotic image as part of the campaign logo.

“My initial reaction is that this is unacceptable,” Mark-Viverito said.

RELATED: Controversial Puerto Rican Day Parade Coors Light ads taken down

“Anybody that sees that image, on that can of beer, the first thing they see is the Puerto Rican flag and that is supposed to be the greatest symbol of a nation, the greatest symbol of its people, a culture and its contributions and equating it with a can of beer really is deplorable,” Mark Viverito told PIX11 News.

Two years ago, I was the first to report on the disastrous “emboricuate” campaign.  It was perceived by many Puerto Ricans as a play off the  word “Boricua” (or Puerto Rican)  and Spanish word “emborachar,” which means to get drunk. Company officials insist the campaign was about becoming more connected to Puerto Rican roots.

Puerto Ricans were not amused.

After our 2011 report, State Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. of the South Bronx sent a  to letter to the Coors family.  The “emboricuate” campaign was pulled down throughout the city, and Diaz cited the PIX 11 report as the reason.

As for the senator’s take on the new controversy? Well, there is no mistaking what he sees.

“This is the Puerto Rican flag.  This, this is the Puerto Rican flag,” Diaz said.

Some observers say there is a big difference between Budweiser putting an American flag on its cans and what Coors is doing with the Puerto Rican flag.

“We minorities from third countries, we feel different. We …  don’t play around with our flag, don’t play around with our culture,” Diaz said.

RELATED: Coors Light ad raising eyebrows in Puerto Rican community

In light of this latest controversy, a MillerCoors spokesperson said the company has a strong track record of responsible advertising and marketing in its seven-year involvement with the parade.  Additionally, they have invested in scholarships.

PIX11 News visited  the official Puerto Rican Day Parade offices on Third Avenue in the Bronx.

Once off the elevator doors, the parade offices were right there, their door wide open. After knocking and calling out for worker, I identified myself to a gentleman in an office as a PIX11 News reporter and informed him that my photographer and I would like to speak with parade officials.

He told me they were in a meeting and asked me to take a seat in the  office.

We sat in the seats directed and for nearly 20 minutes heard a lively discussion focused on crisis communications.  There was great concern that this latest controversy greatly hurts the Coors Light brand and they were trying to identify the best way for parade officials to get ahead of this before a boycott emerges.

All of this is to counter a rally that is taking place at this distributorship Thursday in the Bronx.

Once out of the meeting, stunned to see our cameras, parade officials scampered to an office. They weren’t expecting us.

Once the parade chairperson, Madelyn  Lugo, emerged and realized we were told by one of their workers where to sit, she declined to answer any of our questions.


  • francis Y Rodriguez

    Estoy mas que segura que si le hubieran bado dinero estubieran con la voca callada boricuas ignorantes tener nuestra bandera a donde sea y que llegue atodo el mundo es un honor tremendo ….ademas PR es uno de los 10 paices que mas consume esta bebida.hay por favor ADonde puedo encontrar una lata de estas para mi coleccion…….

  • Declan

    Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that, this is fantastic blog. An excellent read. I’ll certainly be back.

  • Brett

    I enjoy what you guys are up too. This type of clever work and coverage! Keep up the great works guys I’ve included you guys to our blogroll.

  • Jessee M

    this is very important, we hope to see the same reaction and response and attention to a million things to get so inflamed about, like shutting down schools, giving our money away to corporations instead of a living wage, etc etc.. politicians scared to take on bloomberg like this as they shake down coors even more for their erroros

  • JR Bailey

    Simply put, I'm TIRED of the Double Standard hypocrisy from Puerto Ricans and especially the Puerto Rican Political Groups on this and other duality issues.

    It's time for Puerto Ricans to decided if they are Americans of Puerto Rican descent, or if they are Puerto Ricans living in America.

    It's time for PR's to VOTE either for State Hood or for becoming a Sovereign nation.

    It's time to defecate or get off the pot.

    PR's don't like my (the USA) country and want to play the victim game? Fine and dandy, get your crap together, put it on a plane, and GET OUT! Don't let the door hit your posterior on the way out and here's your hat and coat!

    PR's who desire to be my fellow citizens and still take pride in their heritage? Welcome to America, glad to have you aboard!

    There's your choices: make one or WE AMERICANS will make it FOR YOU: we will FORCE the Congress to vote one way or another, and then YOU will no longer have that power in your hands.


  • oatka

    “ 'We minorities from third countries, we feel different. We … don’t play around with our flag, don’t play around with our culture,' Diaz said. "

    1) Exactly why you do not belong in mine.

    2) Except when it comes to taking welfare from the United States. I'll bet dollars to donuts that Mark Viverito knows someone who has burned or otherwise desecrated an American Flag.

  • Laura Montanez

    This guy Diaz is a Senator? OMG! He insulted Puerto Ricans more than the darn Coors beer can! He went on Nation-wide tv and said Puerto Rico is a third world country! Excuse me? Third world country? Really? Speak for yourself Senator Diaz.

    I believe Coors intentions were good. this was approved by the Parade committee. Now this guy intentions are questionable-"I needed push and you gave it to me"? Boost for his own political agenda, aspirations maybe. Give me a break!

    Coors has supported the community many ways including supporting our children with scholarships for education so that perhaps we won't have another tragic incident of drunken ignorant PR young men ripping the clothes off a young woman at the parade. Hay por favor!

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