LATINO VOICES
05/28/2013 10:31 am ET | Updated May 29, 2013

Coors Light Can With Puerto Rican Flag Unleashes Boricua Fury

Coors Light Can With Puerto Rican Flag Sparks Fury

This may not be the best way to reach the Latino market.

Puerto Ricans in New York are furious over a new Coors Light decorated with the island’s flag.

The company launched the can as a marketing ploy to coincide with the city’s annual Puerto Rican Day Parade.

Coors Light is one of the parade’s sponsors. The Puerto Rican flag appears on the bottom quarter of the can along with the Parade’s logo, under the words “cerveza official” -- official beer.

"It's a total disrespect to the Puerto Rican flag," Vincent Torres of Boricuas For A Positive Image told DNA Info. "The parade is turning into one big commercial where the Puerto Rican people are being pimped."

Some saw the decision to drape the beer can in the Puerto Rican flag as particularly insensitive this year, because the parade’s theme is “Salud -- Celebrating Your Health,” according to the New York Observer.

"Here we are, the parade's theme this year is about health, looking at the disparities in our community and how do we really promote better options," City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito told NY1. "And so to have now Coors as a beer and our flag draped on a can of beer really seems to be the greatest irony of all and is in poor, poor taste," Mark-Viverito said.

Alcohol use among Latinos tends to increase with acculturation to the United States, especially among women, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Puerto Ricans consume more alcoholic beverages per week than any other Hispanic group, with 16.9, according to data published by the institute’s website in 2011.

Coors has had problems with the Puerto Rican community before over its marketing approach for the annual parade.

The company’s “Emborícuate” (roughly translated as “Puerto Ricanize Yourself”) campaign sparked controversy in 2011 when angry Boricuas pointed out that the message could be misconstrued as a “Emborráchate,” which means “get drunk.”

Check out Twitter reactions to the Puerto Rican flag Coors Light can in the slideshow above.

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