MillerCoors filed a lawsuit last week, alleging that Anheuser-Busch’s ad campaign made “false and misleading” claims about the Coors Light and Miller Lite brands.
The company also asked the court in Wisconsin for an injunction to stop Anheuser-Busch from continuing to broadcast the ad, the New York Times reported.
In the Games of Thrones-style ad, the “Bud Light king” travels to both the Coors Light and Miller Lite “castles” to deliver a huge barrel of corn syrup that the king says belongs to its “rightful owners”. The ad ends with the line: “Bud Light – brewed with no corn syrup.”
According to its submission to the court, MillerCoors said it uses corn syrup in the fermentation process, but yeast breaks this down and leaves no corn syrup in the final product. As such, Anheuser-Busch is deliberately misleading consumers, it is claimed.
“Anheuser-Busch is fearmongering over a common beer ingredient that’s used, by the way, in many of its own beers as a fermentation aid,” said Adam Collins, VP of communications at MillerCoors.
“We believe that the deliberate deception is bad for the entire industry, and we’re filing this lawsuit to show the world the truth,” he added.
MillerCoors also claimed that Anheuser-Busch purposely conflated corn syrup and high-fructose corn syrup, which has been linked with obesity, and therefore the ad is “triggering” to consumers. Featuring the ingredient is there to “frighten” consumers into switching to Bud Light, the brewer claims.
However, Anheuser-Busch hit back with Gemma Hart, its VP of communications, saying in a statement that the campaign is “intended to point out a key difference from Miller Lite and Coors Light”. “Those beers are brewed with corn syrup. Bud Light is not. These are the facts,” she added.
Sourced from New York Times; additional content by WARC staff