New York Attorney General Begins Inquiry Into Puerto Rican Parade, Coors Partnership

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sent letters to MillerCoors and the Puerto Rican Day Parade leadership demanding to know the financial relationship between the beer giant and the parade.

The state attorney general's office is getting involved in the recent flap over a logo of the Puerto Rican flag on Coors Light beer cans commemorating the Puerto Rican Day Parade

Schneiderman’s staff sent a letter both to officers of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade and MillerCoors, which is a sponsor of the annual event, which this year is set for June 9.

This year's theme is "Celebrating Your Health."  Members of the community group, Boricuas for a Positive Image, criticized the logo as an "insult" to all Puerto Ricans. Coors agreed to pull the product and apologized after the outcry.

The decision came before Boricuas for a Positive Image, who started a campaign against the beer giant, was set to begin protesting outside one of the distributor headquarters in New York City. Vincent Torres, a community organizer for the group, said they were planning daily protests until the company met their demands.

In a statement released to the media, MillerCoors said: "Coors Light has supported the National Puerto Rican Day Parade for the last seven years in celebration and honor of Puerto Rican heritage....As part of our partnership over the years we've contributed to the Parade's Diversity Scholarship Fund which has helped dozens of students manage the financial burdens of attaining a higher education."

In a letter to Tom Long, chief executive officer of MillerCoors, the attorney general’s office noted that “the nature and extent of the broader financial relationship between MillerCoors and the National Puerto Rican Day Parade” remains unclear.

The state attorney general’s office asked for clarification of several things, among them – the terms of MillerCoors arrangement with the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, how the parade’s name has been used in the marketing of MillerCoors marketing, and the nature of all contributions that MillerCoors has made to, or on behalf of, the parade.

The attorney general’s office set a deadline of June 3rd for parade officials to respond, and June 4th for MillerCoors.

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