Forget the Mueller Report – MillerCoors Takes Anheuser-Busch To Court

We don’t know what was the bigger news from late last week…word that the Mueller probe had ended…or that the Big Beer “corntroversy’” was going to court.

We’re going with the Big Beer wars…it’s much more fun.

What started with an Anheuser-Busch Super Bowl spot intended to shame its biggest competitor has escalated madly… And last Thursday MillerCoors filed a lawsuit in Wisconsin federal court alleging that Anheuser-Busch was trying to “frighten” consumers into switching to Bud Light with “misleading” Super Bowl ads.

So how did the world’s biggest beer companies end up in court as well as at each other’s throats?

Here’s a brief synopsis with all the tawdry details left in….

It all began on Super Bowl Sunday when Bud Light returned to last year’s popular “Dilly, Dilly” medieval kingdom to accuse both Miller Lite and Coors Light of using corn syrup in their beers.

The spot’s corn syrup accusations, though not denied, drew a quick rebuttal from MillerCoors as well as from the National Corn Growers Association.

Then MillerCoors took to the New York Times where they jumped ugly with Anheuser-Busch. And MillerCoors’ CEO Gavin Hattersley got fiery about his competitor on the company’s 2018 fourth-quarter earnings call

Robert Mueller offers no opinion on the MillerCoors lawsuit

“Anheuser-Busch could not have handled it as a better gift if they tried harder. Our distributors are proud. They are fiercely competitive and they like nothing more than a good fight. Nothing we could have done could have fired them up so much.”

And things only got hotter when MillerCoors pulled out of a previously planned meeting for a multimillion-dollar, “Got Milk” style advertising campaign that would have resulted in an almost unheard of alliance between Anheuser-Busch InBev, Molson Coors, Heineken NV and Constellation Brands.

MillerCoors’ Communications Chief, told the Wall Street Journal that the planned campaign to revive the declining beer sector would be “waste of time and money…while the dominant industry leader is spending millions of dollars demonizing beer ingredients.”

Then things got even stupider…

On March 13th MillerCoors announced that it was launching a broad campaign aimed at Anheuser-Busch complete special beer taps powered by Bud Light negativity.

MillerCoors began monitoring Bud Light’s activity on social-and broadcast-media channels in real time. And every time that Bud Light takes a shot Coors Light, the smart beer tap handles  light up “signaling that each legal-age patron will get a free Coors Light.”

But now, with MillerCoors having filed a federal lawsuit against Anheuser-Busch, things have escalated stratospherically and gotten even more expensive for both companies…

Responding to the lawsuit AP reported that “Anheuser-Busch said its campaign is truthful and designed to bring consumers “transparency” about what’s in the beer they drink.

MillerCoors, on the other hand, is seeking an immediate halt Anheuser-Busch’s ongoing campaign which their lawsuit contends is intended to “irreparably harm” the company’s reputation…

Now on to the Mueller report…

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