The NYPost says "the beer war between Miller Lite and Bud is getting ugly. Getting? It has been for most of 2004. (See Catfight between Miller and AB, Miller and Bud are at it again, and Taste and Flavor vs. Freshness.) So what's this latest hub-bub all about? Apparently Miller Lite's latest spots. They show actors as former Bud Light fans talking thorough a bullhorn at an AB building- claiming that they liked the Miller taste better. AB filed a complaint with the 4 major networks. Both CBS and NBC have pulled the Miller Lite ads, "saying the spots were unfair to Bud Light. NBC said that commercial "unfairly disparaged Anheuser-Busch by claiming that the Bud delivery man was 'hiding something.'"
The thing with these ads is that they remind me of the Truth anti-smoking ads. I wonder if they purposefully were hinting at them with this concept.
But, folks, that's not all. There's more to this story. The Star Tribune reports that the Center for Science in the Public Interest has been sending letters to federal regulators and the Beer Institute trade group claiming that Anheuser-Busch's spoof ads of Miller's Refs "violate the institute's voluntary codes barring ads that 'portray or imply illegal behavior of any kind.'"
Anheuser-Bushe's repsonse courtesy of John Kaestner, vice president of consumer affairs, stated: "We disagree with your assertions that these ads promote "illegal activity." He defended the commercials as "clearly meant to be a spoof of the spots currently being run by our competitor. We believe consumers understand that the activities shown in the commercials are not real, but rather part of the over-the-top humor that makes the spots funny.''
George Hacker who first complained to the Beer Institute last month said "Crime is no joke, nor is the subtext of obtaining one's beer through underhanded means.''
It makes me wonder what consumers think about people like Hacker who are basically implying that they are too stupid to think for themselves.
(hat tip to Clay)