Bud Light's #corntroversey ads barred for misleading corn syrup claims

A judge in Wisconsin has temporarily paused Bud Light's trolling of MillerCoors' use of corn syrup, by ordering Anheuser-Busch to stop making the suggestions in its advertising campaigns.

The #corntroversey began in February, when Bud Light used its bumper buy of Super Bowl spots to launch it's 'ingredient transparency' campaign.

#Corntoversy timeline

  • February 2 - Bud Light 'Special Delivery' ad airs during Super Bowl
  • February 5 - MillerCoors snaps back with full-page New York Times ad, reasserting its use of corn syrup
  • February 6 - Bud Light responds to MillerCoors open letter with a colloquial letter from 'King John Barley IV'
  • February 15 - Coors Light raises a glass in #ToastToFarmers
  • February 23 - MillerCoors pulls out of next month's 'beer alliance' meeting
  • February 24 - Bud Light runs 'Thespians performing beer ingredients' during Oscars ad break
  • March 21 - MillerCoors sues Anheuser-Busch over 'misleading' Bud Light ad

This prompted MillerCoors to respond with a full-page newspaper ad addressed to ‘Beer Drinkers of America’ which defended its use of the ingredient.

After Bud Light penned a more comical response from 'King John Barley IV,' MillerCoors pulled out of a ‘beer alliance’ meeting – a collective of beer brewers united by the aim of winning back customers who have defected to wine and spirits.

The public spat heated up when MillerCoors sued Anheuser-Busch, claiming it supposedly misled consumers into believing there is corn syrup in Coors Light and Miller Lite, when it says there is no corn syrup in either beer by the time it reaches consumers.

Although Bud Light uses rice syrup, other Anheuser-Busch beer brands, Stella Artoise and Busch Light Beer, uses corn syrup - the ingredient it pulled MillerCoors up for using.

MillerCoors said its rivals had spent as much as $30m on "false and misleading" campaigns.

As a result, Anheuser-Busch has had temporary ads bans on any that say Bud Light contains '100% less corn syrup,' describe corn syrup as an ingredient in Coors Light and Miller Lite or mention crown syrup without reference to the brewing process.

Despite this, the ruling didn't cover all of Anheuser-Busch's advertising as the beer maker says it doesn't affect its Super Bowl ad which started the corn-syrup spat.

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