A-B Crying In Its Beer (When It Could Be Competing)

According to Ad Age, Anheuser-Busch is asking cable networks to not run a rival’s ads claiming Bud Light has changed.
The Miller Brewing Co. ads in question, from MDC Partners’ Crispin Porter & Bogusky use humorous courtroom settings to push Miller’s ongoing claim that Miller Lite has more taste than Bud Light. The ads, one of which features Flavor Flav of Public Enemy, describe Bud Light as having “changed.”
The ads don’t elaborate on what’s different. But Miller claims it has detected changes in bitterness and carbonation.
August Busch IV, president of the U.S. brewery, also decried Miller’s tactics in a memo to wholesalers. Noting the brewer has been losing share in supermarkets amid a pricing war, he said A-B is “seeing the signs of a desperate competitor.”
Miller “has been reckless in their communications and their actions are detrimental to the industry,” Mr. Busch said. “We will consider additional, tightly targeted communications pointing out facts about their brewing, if the situation warrants.”

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.