Different beer marketed to different races? - KMSP-TV

Different beer marketed to different races?

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

The beer you buy in a predominantly black neighborhood in Harlem is a lot different from what you find in other communities. It's bigger, the alcohol content is greater, and so is the danger. Is it racial stereotyping or just smart marketing?

The shelves of the store are full of King Cobra, Olde English 800, Colt 45, and Steel Reserve -- beer so strong it's called malt liquor. The ads for these brands are just as tough as the names. They get celebrity endorsements from gangsta rappers like Snoop Dogg.

It's a world away from Coors Light, which features country music star Jason Aldean, or the Corona Extra image of beautiful women on a beach.

The ads aren't the only difference. The malt liquor containers are bigger: a 40-ounce bottle versus a standard 12-ounce bottle.

Some black leaders and clergy, including Rev. Michael Faulkner, have denounced malt liquor as reinforcing negative stereotypes and aggravating substance abuse issues.

A new medical study found that malt liquor drinkers represented 50 percent of the beer drinkers who visited a Baltimore emergency room. More alcohol opens the door to more problems, according to Dr. Ruben Olmedo.

Malt liquor is legal. Manufacturers urge consumers to drink responsibly.

Rev. Faulkner said that ultimately individuals are responsible for their own actions, but when the community is saturated, the deck is stacked against them.

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