The regulator says Molson Coors should stop saying rival beer tastes like water.
The beer ad is trying to be funny, but the regulatory team has determined that Molson Course went too far with a recent ad comparing competitors’ lager beers to water.
The national advertising arm, part of the Better Business Bureau, sided with Anheuser-Busch, which challenged a 2022 Miller Lite ad that uses the phrase “light beer shouldn’t taste like water, it should taste like beer.” The agency said that Molson Coors should “stop” the ad because it is “not a pomposity or just an opinion.”
V 15 second video, a cyclist takes a break after climbing a mountain, opens a beer and pours himself with it. No specific beers were mentioned, however the beer is the same blue color as the Bud Light packaging. NAD said it “determined that ‘like water’ taste is a measurable attribute” and that customers can “reasonably expect the claim to be supported by such evidence.”
NAD said the ad should be discontinued because Molson Coors “has not provided evidence to support the claim that any other light beer ‘tastes like water'”.
In response, Anheuser-Busch said it was “evaluating” NAD’s decision.
“The true stewards of the beer industry must work together to strengthen the category of beer, and not resort to misleading attacks that denigrate the products enjoyed by millions of beer drinkers,” an Anheuser-Busch spokesman said in a statement.
Molson Coors has filed an appeal against this decision, stating that it “strongly disagrees with this decision because we believe that light beer should taste like beer, not water, and we have every right to share this belief.” The spokesperson also questioned Anheuser-Busch’s “sudden concern” about the ad, as it hadn’t aired since last August.
NAD’s decisions are not legally binding, but most advertisers are bound by their decisions. If the advertiser does not comply, the advertisement is submitted to the Federal Trade Commission for further investigation.
This isn’t the first time that Molson Coors and Anheuser-Busch, the top-selling beer makers in the US, have challenged each other. Molson Coors sued Anheuser-Busch in 2019 over Super Bowl ads who accused the maker of Miller Lite and Coors Light of having its beer sweetened with rice rather than corn syrup. The case was dropped.