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What would Spuds think?
December 22, 2004 9:48 AM   Subscribe

Moveon ads aren't the only things the networks won't allow, Miller has had beer ads pulled after Anheuser-Busch complained that the ads "went beyond the substantiation and communicated taste superiority and/or preference." So the ads were pulled. Oddly enough, AB is the company consumers demanded stop their current ad campaign.
posted by drezdn (17 comments total)

 
Any concern that depends on advertisers for revenue will juggle conflicts at some point. It's a competitive business.
posted by tomharpel at 10:22 AM on December 22, 2004


"...communicated taste superiority and/or preference."

Isn't this the point of advertising?
posted by cedar at 10:31 AM on December 22, 2004


In my previous job we would fire off letters to the networks complaining about our competitor's ads being misleading [because they were] and the networks would usually comply if they bought our version of the story.

Broadcast networks generally do review the ads and ask the advertiser to provide substantiation to claims. The standards and practices people at the broadcast nets also have the rules about inappropriate ads like Moveon and that church, etc. On cable you can do whatever you want as long as your check clears.
posted by birdherder at 10:32 AM on December 22, 2004


"...saying nine Miller ads aired since the summer are unsubstantiated and misleading."... Come on! How many ads are intellectually honest? 10%?

I used to think it was very upsetting that the news and media ignored issues that questioned corporate interests. I thought one day enough people would catch on to that to band together and pay for ads that would make more people aware. Now that people are banding together, I find it even more upsetting that corporations are being allowed to arbitrarily decide what's acceptable for paid airtime. I mean I thought the social-contract based idea was that the air waves are public property that are leased or loaned to networks so they could create content pushed along by market forces. Am I wrong about that or could the ACLU sue for Moveon (or anyone's) right to buy 30 seconds of free speech?
posted by RemusLupin at 10:49 AM on December 22, 2004


"They said their piss is tastier than our piss! Waah!"

It's telling that AB can't just take the high road and let the quality of the product speak for itself. They know that they sell the exact same thing and only have their marketing to thank for their position.

(There may be subtle differences, but anyone experienced enough to object to receiving a Miller Lite when they ordered Bud Light has already had their tastebuds stripped by Skoal and pre-packaged bologna.)
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:53 AM on December 22, 2004


let the quality of the product speak for itself

HAHAHAHAHAH HAHAHAHAHAH
hahahahah ahah haha heh
he hehe
heh heh heh
*snort*

posted by eyeballkid at 11:00 AM on December 22, 2004


eyeballkid: I think that was Mayor Curley's point.
posted by xmutex at 11:15 AM on December 22, 2004


xmutex: Thank you for a clarification of the obvious.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:17 AM on December 22, 2004


I don't care about the validity of the commercials' claims - I just think the whole mess is hysterically brilliant. It's like watching gangsta rappers go back and forth - Bud's response to the whole 'referee penalties' campaign was pure gold.

By the way, IMHO all beer, not just American, sucks. If I'm gonna drink, I'm gonna DRINK. Sour mash rules!
posted by davelog at 11:24 AM on December 22, 2004


Perhaps my St. Louis roots are showing a bit here, but I don't think the natural knee-jerk reaction against A-B for complaining about the ads is valid here.

If you watch the ads, or read the print ads, Miller is saying that in a beer-drinker survey, people found that Miller Lite had "more taste" than Bud Light. But pee has more taste than water, and battery acid has more taste than grape juice.

Then Miller went all-out, touted the results, and said 'choose your beer on taste.' The ads had tiny disclaimers that said that there was no determination of the beer drinker's preference, just on which beer had "more taste". That's bogus.

And so long as I'm being contrarian, "consumers" did not demand that A-B stop their current campaign. The Center For Science in the Public Interest ("CSPI") did. CSPI are a dastardly bunch of nanny-state activists, who want to take away your Hardee's Monster Thick Burger and your trans-fat laden Oreo cookies.

See this page, for a general description of the recent fights between Miller and A-B. It's good stuff; the story is good fodder for an FPP of its own.
posted by AgentRocket at 11:40 AM on December 22, 2004


And so long as I'm being contrarian, "consumers" did not demand that A-B stop their current campaign. The Center For Science in the Public Interest ("CSPI") did. CSPI are a dastardly bunch of nanny-state activists, who want to take away your Hardee's Monster Thick Burger and your trans-fat laden Oreo cookies.

I was just about to make the same point. CSPI doesn't represent "consumers" any more than PETA represents people who wear fur. If CSPI had its way, the only thing we'd be allowed to "consume" would be green leafy vegetables.
posted by pardonyou? at 12:06 PM on December 22, 2004


... anyone experienced enough to object to receiving a Miller Lite when they ordered Bud Light has already had their tastebuds stripped ...

I don't usually drink either Bud or Miller Lite unless it's 95 degrees out and there are dollar drafts, but I'm pretty sure I can tell the difference (although, honestly, I probably wouldn't object to being mis-served). Sure, neither one tastes like beer ought to taste, and neither is particularly enjoyable, but each has its strengths, Bud Lite being more refreshing, Miller Lite tasting less like seltzer water. Of course, I don't think the "more taste" ads are misleading -- they don't say "more beer taste" or "more good taste" -- but maybe that's just because I think they're funny (in the way that "Blue Collar TV" is funny).
posted by uncleozzy at 12:20 PM on December 22, 2004


ST. LOUIS, Missouri (AP) -- Accusations flew today after the discovery of a hop at the Anheuser-Busch brewery, home of Budweiser beer. A-B spokesman Corp O'Rate strongly denied use of such ingredients in their beers and suggested that perhaps it was planted by someone in the employ of SABMiller Brewing, an international conglomorate and brewer of rival Miller beer.

When contacted, SABMiller Brewing declined to comment other than to confirm that they also do not use hops in their brewing.

Forensics experts have been called in to determine the actual age of the hop and whether or not it might be a relic of Adolphus Busch's 1860's experiments in copying Czech beers.
posted by tommasz at 2:45 PM on December 22, 2004


The Washington, D.C.-based Center said in letters to the Beer Institute and to the Federal Trade Commission that the company's Bud Light commercials, including one that shows a group of men dressed as referees who invade a party and steal beer, then lie to police officers and try to run away, "violate both the spirit and the letter" of the Beer Institute's advertising and marketing code, which cites that the ads should not portray or imply illegal activity.

Hold on... there's a Beer Institute?

As an aside, what really drives me bonkers is this "coldest-tasting" beer campaign from Coors, where they imply that all beers not brewed "in the Rockies" aren't "cold-tasting" enough for the American consumer. Of course, Coors is also the company that marketed a beer called "Artic Ice".
posted by coelecanth at 5:33 PM on December 22, 2004


Oops. That's "Artic Ice."
posted by coelecanth at 5:35 PM on December 22, 2004


...the only thing we'd be allowed to "consume" would be green leafy vegetables.

pardinyou, I believe that's actually "humanely harvested" green leafy vegetables. They hate the piteous shrieks of agony when spinach is cut off rather than gently de-earthed.
posted by Enron Hubbard at 6:31 AM on December 23, 2004


Hold on... there's a Beer Institute?

Not only that, there's a U.S. Beer Drinking Team. And they're building the Beer Hall of Fame right across the river from me in Cincinnati, OH.

Just to throw beer on the fire (ha), Beer Radio is already webcasting and the team plans to start up Beer Television soon. One can only hope the production quality is marginally better than their horrific web site design. Somehow, I'm not sure the drunks will be up to task.

What I want to know is: Where's the Bourbon Drinking Team? I suppose I'll have to stick with Modern Drunkard until someone gets the ball rolling.

Beer is such a waste. Bourbon gets you drunk so much faster...
posted by hawkman at 10:15 AM on December 23, 2004


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