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The Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. District Judge William Conley in Madison, Wisconsin, has “temporarily barred Anheuser-Busch ads that say Bud Light contains ‘100% less corn syrup,’ describe corn syrup as an ingredient in Coors Light or Miller Lite, or mention corn syrup without reference to the brewing process.”

The story goes on: “The decision granted parts of a preliminary injunction requested by MillerCoors LLC, which sued Anheuser-Busch Companies LLC in March over Bud Light ads pointing out that Coors Light and Miller Lite use corn syrup in their brewing processes.

“The campaign began in the Super Bowl, during which Anheuser-Busch Companies LLC, part of Anheuser-Busch InBev SA, BUD 0.56% ran several Bud Light ads introducing the corn-syrup theme. It continued after the game, including on billboards describing Bud Light as having ‘100 percent less corn syrup’ than either rival brand. MillerCoors argued in its lawsuit that the ads ‘deceive beer consumers into believing that there is corn syrup and high-fructose corn syrup in Miller Lite and Coors Light.’ There is no corn syrup in either beer by the time it reaches consumers, the company says, and high-fructose corn syrup is never involved at any point.”

The Journal says that “Anheuser-Busch described the ruling as a victory because it left Bud Light’s Super Bowl advertising unscathed, and said it plans to resume airing the original commercial as soon as this weekend.”
KC's View:
I know that A-B thinks that this approach give sit a differential advantage, but I’m mystified why it would do something that, quite frankly, creates questions about an entire category. This strategy does nothing to make me think that Bud Light is a better choice than, say, a 26.2 Brew or a Slightly Mighty.