The regulator says Molson Coors should stop saying its competitor beer tastes like water

New York (CNN) The beer ads try to be funny, but an organizing group decided just that Molson Course He went so far with a recent ad comparing competitors’ light beers to water.

The National Advertising Division, part of the Better Business Bureau, sided with Anheuser-Busch, who challenged a 2022 ad for Miller Light that uses the phrase “light beer shouldn’t taste like water, it should taste like beer.” The agency said Molson Coors should “stop” the ad because it is “not just an opinion or just an opinion”.

In the Spot 15 seconds, a cyclist takes a break from riding uphill, cracks a beer and dips into it. No beer is mentioned, but the beer uses a similar blue color that adorns the packaging of Bud Light. NAD said it had “determined that tasting ‘like water’ is a measurable trait” and that customers might “reasonably expect the statement to be supported by such evidence”.

Screenshot from a Miller Lite ad in which Anheuser-Busch ad ran into trouble.

NAD said the ad should be stopped because Molson Coors “has not presented evidence to support the claim that any other light beer tastes like water.”

In response, Anheuser-Busch said it “appreciated” NAD’s decision.

“The true stewards of the beer industry should work together to advance the beer category rather than resorting to misleading attacks that denigrate products enjoyed by millions of beer drinkers,” an Anheuser-Busch spokesperson said in a statement.

Molson Coors is appealing the decision, saying it “strongly disagrees with this decision because we believe that light beer should taste like beer, not water, and we are entitled to share that belief.” An Anheuser-Busch spokesperson also asked about its “sudden concern” about the ad because it hasn’t aired since last August.

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NAD’s decisions are not legally binding, but most advertisers comply with their decision. If the advertiser does not comply, the ads are referred to the Federal Trade Commission for further scrutiny.

This isn’t the first time that Molson Coors and Anheuser-Busch, the two best-selling craft beers in the United States, have challenged each other. Molson Coors sued Anheuser-Busch in 2019 over Super Bowl ads that accused the maker of Miller Lite and Coors Light of saying the beer was sweetened with rice instead of corn syrup. Case dismissed.

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