Controversial Puerto Rican Day Parade Coors Light ads taken down

Posted: 11:26 AM, Jun 03, 2011
Updated: 2013-05-29 13:13:17-04

Coors announced they will be pulling a series of Bronx bus stop advertisements that offended the Puerto Rican community, the same community whose parade the beer company is sponsoring in the ads.

The Coors ad shows large bottles of beer above the message “Emboricuate” — Spanish for “Become Puerto Rican”. The problem is that the only mention of a parade, or festivity that would call for drinking, is in tiny print. The advertisements peppered bus stops in the Bronx, a borough that is 52% Latino and 24% Puerto Rican, according to the US Census Bureau.

On Friday, Coors, a 3-year sponsor of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, initially defended the ads — a spokesperson told PIX11, “This specific ad is about celebrating the Puerto Rican culture and becoming part of the Puerto Rican Day celebrations.” Adding that “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.”

Late Thursday evening, however, Coors announced they will be pulling the campaign after receiving pressure from community leaders and from State Senator Ruben Diaz, who represents the Puerto Rican-rich 32nd District.

“If PIX11 would have not done this story, this would have never taken place,” said Diaz during an interview in his district office. Diaz added “Myself along with the community owe thanks to you and PIX11.”

PIX11 first learned of the story after being contacted by a Puerto Rican viewer upset at a bust stop ad on the corner of Grand Concourse and East 161st in the Bronx.