#Brooklyn residents are calling out a bottled water company for their out-of-touch marketing ploy to sell spring water in 40-ounce containers that are made to look like malt liquor bottles.
Not only are activists calling the bottles insensitive, but they referred to #OunceWater’s marketing, which features water sold in bottles that look like Colt 45 and Olde English, as “blackface in a bottle,” @nydailynews reports. Activists said they’re enraged by Ounce Water’s attempt to build a brand “based on the alcoholic products that are murdering our community.”
The bottles have since been removed from the store but Ounce Water said the following in a statement: “OUNCE WATER has one mission: to encourage proper hydration…Our motto is ‘hydration made easy.’ OUNCE WATER’s 20 oz, 40 oz and upcoming 10 oz bottles help do the math to reach the 80 oz daily water goal.”
Ounce Water was founded in 2015 by #SonsOfAnarchy star #TheoRossi and his wife Meghan, and was made to reach “urban communities” by selling drinking water with the tagline “Get Ounced!” The company also uses a hip-hop influenced marketing campaign.
“In a community that has been ravaged by alcohol and drugs, we are confused as to why someone would create a product that so closely resembles a malt liquor bottle,” members of the activist group Breukelen RISE said in a letter to the company. “We cannot get behind this product staying on the shelves in our community.”
After the activists complained, last week, the bottles were removed from Canarsie’s Food World Supermarket on E. 107th Street, and replaced with 20-ounce bottles from the same company. But activists said the damage was already done.
“It leaves a sour taste in my mouth and I’m not going to buy it,” said Thora Lashley, a Breukelen Houses resident for more than 50 years. “It’s the way they presented it. We didn’t have problem with Aquafina or Deer Park water because they came in regular bottles. If I was to see a young teenage boy walking around with a 40 ounce bottle of the water, I’d be disgusted and I would go and buy him a different kind of water.”
Roommates, what are your thoughts on the matter? Let us know!