UPDATED: 2019/03/22 12:00 PM
The maker of Miller Lite and Coors Light isn’t taking the joke well when it comes to Bud Light’s corn syrup Super Bowl ads.
MillerCoors filed a lawsuit against Anheuser-Busch (BUD), the brewer of Bud Light, over the commercials, claiming them as “false and misleading.” In their complaint, MillerCoors states they want the ads blocked and its rival to set the record straight.
In the ads that aired during the Superbowl, Bud Light touted the fact that the beer is sweetened with rice rather than corn syrup, taking jabs at its competitors who they claim to use the latter as a part of their ingredients.
The beef stems from the fact that the American Heart Association and other health organizations commonly cite this sweetener in particular (as well as many others like sugar, honey, etc) as common contributor to obesity and heart-related illnesses. Presumable, MillerCoors isn’t happy with that kind of brand association.
In the premise of the first ad, the Bud Light King, Bud Knight and others are trying to figure out what to do with a corn syrup barrel that was mistakenly delivered to them. They set out on a quest to the “castles” of their competitors, arriving at the Miller Lite castle to see if the barrel belongs there. The punchline is that the castle had already received its delivery of corn syrup so they Bud Light posse press on to the complainant’s second fictional fortress, the Coors Light castle, whose occupants have been looking for their corn syrup barrel.
In their suit, MillerCoors said that Anheuser-Busch “plotted an extensive and pervasive advertising scheme designed to frighten consumers into switching away from Miller Lite and Coors Light to Bud Light,” further accusing Anheuser-Busch of using corn syrup as a fermentation aid in drinks such as Stella Artois Cidre and Bud Ice.
In an attempt to set the record straight, MillerCoors said it never uses high fructose corn syrup, which it says is different from corn syrup — but this may be inaccurate as well, as allegedly, Anheuser-Busch uses high fructose corn syrup in some of its drinks like the Rita’s Berry-A-Rita.
MillerCoors is seeking court orders barring Anheuser-Busch from disseminating the commercials and also wants them to be required to air new advertising to set the record straight.
Anheuser-Busch said in a statement that it stands by the Bud Light ad campaign.