Legal battle brews between MillerCoors, Anheuser-Busch over Super Bowl ad

A legal battle is brewing between the makers of two popular beers over an advertisement that aired during Super Bowl LIII.

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MillerCoors filed suit against Anheuser-Busch, the maker of Bud Light, in United States District Court of the Western District of Wisconsin, claiming that its rival purposely misled consumers into believing there is corn syrup in Coors Light and Miller Lite, The New York Times reported.

The suit accuses Anheuser-Busch of false advertising and federal trademark dilution, The Washington Post reported.

The ad originally aired during the Super Bowl on Feb. 3, and the feud bubbled over when MillerCoors contested the claims made by Bud Light, calling them "false and misleading." The ad also angered corn lobbyists, the Times reported.

The Super Bowl ad claimed that Bud Light has "100 percent less corn syrup than Coors Light," the Post reported.

MillerCoors claims corn syrup is no longer used in Coors Lite and Miller Lite beer after the brewing process, according to the newspaper.

In the ad, the king of the Bud Light Castle receives a barrel of corn syrup by mistake, the Times reported. He travels to deliver it to the proper address, arrives at the Coors Light castle and says, "Looks like the corn syrup has come home to be brewed." MillerCoors alleges that this statement makes it seem as if corn syrup might be the only ingredient in Coors Light, the newspaper reported.

"Anheuser-Busch is fear-mongering over a common beer ingredient that's used, by the way, in many of its own beers as a fermentation aid," Adam Collins, MillerCoors' vice president of communications, said Thursday, the Post reported.

Corn syrup is listed as an ingredient in several Anheuser-Busch products, but Bud Light is brewed using rice, according to the Times.

Gemma Hart, Anheuser-Busch's vice president of communications, released a statement that said the company is standing by the advertisement's assertion, the Post reported.

“The recent Bud Light campaign is truthful and 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 facts,” Hart said. “MillerCoors has admitted to using corn syrup on its website, in social media, in a full-page ad thanking Bud Light following the Super Bowl, and even in the lawsuit itself.”

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