A Miller Brewing promotion celebrating the "50th Anniversary of Rock 'n' Roll" has Rolling Stone cover shots of Elvis Presley, Blondie and others on eight commemorative beer cans. What's missing is a black artist according to Robert Thompson, a professor of pop culture at Syracuse University, said the absence is "beyond conspicuous" since black artists often are credited with inventing rock 'n' roll.
Gary Armstrong, chief marketing officer for Rolling Stone publisher Wenner Media, said race wasn't a consideration when choosing the artists. "We didn't even consciously think pro or con, the same way that the only woman on there is Blondie. We just went with the people that we thought were appropriate," he said. "We went through (the covers) and said these people we don't think are appropriate or wouldn't appeal to Miller drinkers."Armstrong noted Rolling Stone wasn't around for the birth of rock 'n' roll - it was first published in 1967 - when many formative black artists of the genre emerged. And many artists who appeared on covers balked at being associated with a promotion involving alcohol, he said.
Updated August 20, 2004:
Miller Brewing Co. apologized Thursday for failing to include any black artists on its series of commemorative rock 'n' roll cans.
"African Americans obviously have played a formative role in the development of rock 'n' roll, and despite our efforts, we did not manage this component of the promotion appropriately," the company said in a statement late Thursday "to the African-American community, to music fans and to our valued consumers."
Source: Google / Updated: Aug 18, 2004