Coors Boycott: The Influence of the Chicano Movement

Coors' Response

A May 9, 1978 newspaper headline in the Denver Post reads, "Boycott Seeks to Destroy Us". This headline was the Adolph Coors Company directly responding to the Coors Boycott which had been going on for over a decade. 

It is no secret that during the Coors Boycott, the Coors Company often did not refer to the boycott at all. When there was an official statement made through local Colorado newspapers and or national newspapers, Coors often downplayed the protests and sales loss. Therefore a headline such as the one in 1978  can seem surprising. However, reading the article reveals Coors' tactics of propaganda and misinformation of the protest.

The article states that "Coors said there are no statistics yet on how badly the boycott which began shortly after the strike in April, 1977 has hurt company business." The insinuation here, either because of the Coors Company itself or the writer his or herself, inaccurately represents one major aspect of the boycott; the Coors boycott can be traced back as far as 1966, not 1977. The Coors Boycott originates back to when groups (including the Colorado American GI Forum) first organized a boycott of Coors challenging the company's racist and discriminatory views. 

The article then quotes a Coors representative calling the national boycott "immoral and dishonest." From a protester's perspective this must have seemed incredibly ironic.

Another headline from the same year reads "Coors wages battle against boycott, competition." The article further went on to say: "The boycott is designed to put us out of business. We shall resist and we shall overcome." By the time this article was written it was near certain that the Coors Boycott was truly for ending the discrimination in hiring as well as in worker treatment within the Coors Company - and that is it. 

Before transitioning to another topic, the article simply sums up the boycott as, " the labor problems...". The newspaper, possibly taking its tone and cue from Coors, diminishes the issues of intolerance and poor race relations into a simple strike about some unnamed labor issues.  These moments of patronizing and ill-informed reporting shows how easy it was for the Coors Beer Company and the Coors family to get out their own spin and propaganda to the public.  

Coors had plenty of reach in the public sphere. Their public relations (PR) could be found in the opportunities to give statements to local newspapers as well as with the company's own investments in advertisements

It is in Coors' counter to the boycott that further encouraged the opposition to respond and instead show their support for the boycott.

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