CoorsTek not the first Coors company to launch ad campaign during height of a political campaign with a Coors involved

In one of many good political stories recently, Westword reported this week that a recent ad campaign by Coorstek, the company formerly run by congressional candidate Joe Coors, was allegedly not intended to influence Coors’ race against Rep. Ed Perlmutter.

Westword quoted a statement from CoorsTek spokesman Dane Bartlett:

For over 100 years CoorsTek has been a proud employer in Colorado and like any other business, we are proud of our job creation record in the United States. In an effort to preserve and promote our good brand, CoorsTek distributed the mailer to our neighbors in and around Golden, Colorado.

CoorsTek sent the mailer to voters stating, in part, that the “Colorado-based company” invested $54M “in Colorado jobs this past year.”

Citing ColoradoPols, which originally broke the story, Westword’s Sam Levin reported:

CoorsTek, a ceramics business formerly called Coors Porcelain Company, recently sent out the mailer, which — at the height of election season in a race where millions of dollars are being spent on ads — certainly looks similar to political propaganda….

The mailer seemed odd to the Perlmutter campaigners, because it appears to be a direct response to their accusations that Coors, as the president and CEO of CoorsTek, outsourced manufacturing jobs to Asia. (The Perlmutter team has pointed to the opening of facilities in Korea, while Coors has said the company set up operations overseas to remain globally competitive but did not sacrifice any American jobs).

While the mailer, which points to a website called, seems to be addressing one of the key debates that have emerged in the race, it does not have any political disclaimers. For that reason, it isn’t clear what connection it might have to the Coors campaign.

An interesting addition to the story is that this is not the first time a Coors company engaged in “reputational management” during the height of an election campaign.

In 2004, the Coors Brewing Co. did pretty much exactly the same thing, in apparent support of Pete Coors bid for U.S. Senate against Ken Salazar. Coors Brewing said that there had been no coordination between Coors’ campaign and the Coors Brewing Co. Like CoorsTek, Coors Brewing Co. denied that its advertising had anything to do with electing Coors, despite the appearance of it, and instead was based on business considerations only.

The Rocky Mountain News reported at the time (Oct. 30, 2004, “Timing of Coors Co. Ads Called  Improper”):

Full-page ads ran in the Rocky Mountain News and The Denver Post Friday touting the brewer’s environmental record, jobs creation and charitable contributions…
The ad depicts a mountain scene under the heading “Colorado Born & Raised, And Proud Of It.” The copy covers the beginnings of the company and an overview of its economic impact on the state.
This new wrinkle has surfaced at the tail end of a bitter campaign between Republican Coors , who stepped down as chairman of the family-founded company to run for office, and Democrat Ken Salazar. Anti-Coors ads portray the brewery as a polluter that cut hundreds of jobs and also outsourced them…
The brewery decided a week ago to place the ads as an answer to “ruthless and relentless attacks,” said Coors Brewing Co. spokeswoman Laura Sankey.


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