Black Brooklyn residents are rightly upset over bottles of spring water being sold in containers designed to look like the classic 40-ounce malt liquor bottles. The “mastermind” behind it all is Ounce Water, an upstart company founded by Sons of Anarchy‘s Theo Rossi and his wife in 2015. The cherry on top? The company’s tagline is “Get Ounced!” and is backed by a “hip-hop influenced” marketing campaign.
Again, WHY tho?
To the Rossis, it may be a brilliant way to hydrate the community, but to the activists speaking out against the company—which sells water in bottles shaped like Colt 45, Olde English and Private Stock—the brand has completely missed the mark, and is “based on the alcoholic products that are murdering our community.”
Activist group Breukelen RISE stated in a letter written to the company, “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. We cannot get behind this product staying on the shelves in our community.”
Thora Lashley, who has been a resident of Breukelen Houses for 50+ years, is also not a fan.
“It leaves a sour taste in my mouth and I’m not going to buy it,” she told New York Daily News. “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.”
This marketing ploy makes us think of another gentrified crash and burn.
Read more about how Brooklyn residents are pushing back against Ounce Water’s 40oz water, which has since been removed from store shelves at Canarsie’s Food World Supermarket on E. 107th Street (and replaced with their 20oz versions), here.