2004 No Wine Shop

2003 Philadelphia Alcohol Billboard Ban

2002
Stop Liquor Ads on NBC

2002 Community Partners

2001
Swisher Ain't Sweet

1999
Marlboro Mild

1998 African Amer. & Tobacco Settlement

1998 African Amer. Tobacco Ind. Lawsuit

1997 Say No to Menthol Joe

1996 Hands off Halloween

1995 X Cigarette

1994 World No Tobacco Day Activities

1993 Defeat of PowerMaster Malt Liquor

1990 Uptown Coalition

 

HOME > 1993 DEFEAT OF POWERMASTER MALT LIQUOR > MORE ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN

Defeat of PowerMaster Malt Liquor

In June of 1991, the G. Heileman Brewery, announced the creation of a new malt liquor called PowerMaster. While malt liquors typically contain about 4.5 percent alcohol and other beers contain 3.5 to 4 percent, PowerMaster would have an alcohol content of about 5.5 to 6. The target market for PowerMaster was Chicago.

Knowing that PowerMaster was scheduled for release in Chicago, two clergyman from Chicago, Reverend George Clements and Father Michale Pfleger of St. Sabina Church went to the Heileman brewery office in La Crosse, Wisconsin to meet with the brewery's president, Thomas Rattigan. The clergymen contended that the new PowerMaster malt liquor with its high alcohol content was being targeted to African American communities.

When the clergymen were advised that the president was out of town and no one else would meet with them, they refused to leave, resulting in their arrest for trespassing.

In court, Rev. Clements and Father Plfeger were released on an $85 signature bond and advised by the judge that further protest could land them in jail. They were also ordered to return to La Crosse in August to answer the trepassing charges. The clergymen vowed to return to the brewery and continue fighting against the marketing and selling of PowerMaster.

Nationwide, a campaign of black leaders, then Surgeon General Antonia Novella and representatives of anti-drinking groups that were also fighting against PowerMaster had caught the attention of Washington, resulting in action by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

In early July 1991, the BATF informed Heileman brewery that they were pulling approval to the PowerMaster label. They cited a passage in the laws established by the Federal Alcohol Administration Act of 1935 that forbade the labeling or advertising of beer as being "strong, full strength, extra strength or high test," all words that could be construed as indicators of a product's alcoholic strength. The BAFT also stated that the word "Power" violated federal laws. Heileman was allowed to sell its existing stock of PowerMaster for the next four months but would have to stop any advertising of the product. Father Pfleger was overjoyed by the BATF ruling. "When we are spiritually strong, there's no problem we cannot overcome. We have a serious alcohol problem in the African American community,and this means that something worse won't be added to it," said Pfleger, then added, "Big business better watch out if it's doing something wrong."

 



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