MILWAUKEE, Nov. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Miller Brewing Company confirmed that
rival Anheuser-Busch has contacted several cable television networks to
request that they cease running new Miller ads pointing out that, despite a
change in Bud Light, Miller Lite still has more taste.
In response to the A-B request, several cable networks have temporarily
placed the spots on hold, while asking Miller to provide substantiation for
the claim expressed in the ads. Miller is currently providing the requested
substantiation to these networks. A number of cable stations continue to run
Miller Lite is the fastest growing beer in America over the past two
years.(1) Much of the brand's momentum is driven by its powerful claim that
"Miller Lite has more taste than Bud Light and half the carbs." While
Anheuser-Busch has frequently challenged Miller Lite advertising with the
networks and regulators, the Miller taste claim has been upheld previously by
the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB).
As part of its efforts to protect the claim, Miller has constantly
monitored the product attributes of Bud Light. After observing statistically
significant increases in both the bitterness units and carbonation levels of
Bud Light, Miller moved quickly to conduct a new, independent taste comparison
between Miller Lite and Bud Light. This new test confirms that Miller Lite
still has more taste than Bud Light, despite the recent changes in Bud Light.
Anheuser-Busch now maintains that any changes to Bud Light are the result
of, "brewmasters constantly making small adjustments to address seasonal
changes in raw ingredients." Miller said the increase it observed in
bitterness units was particularly noteworthy because it reverses a 15-year
trend in which the bitterness units in Bud Light declined by almost half.
"We didn't expect them to acknowledge that the change was in response to
the success of Miller Lite," said Nehl Horton, Miller's Senior Vice President
of Communications and Government Affairs. "But we are surprised that they
would maintain that no changes have occurred at all, given the broad and
well-recognized trend in American light lagers over the past 15 years."
Miller said its ads were designed to pre-empt any gradual change to Bud
Light that might ultimately enable Anheuser-Busch to successfully refute the
"We believe our taste claim is a significant advantage for Miller Lite and
we will be very proactive in protecting our claim," Horton said.
About Miller Brewing Company:
Milwaukee-based Miller Brewing Company is the oldest major brewer in
America, celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2005. Miller is a wholly owned
subsidiary of SABMiller plc, one of the world's largest brewers. Miller's
principal beer brands are Miller Lite, Miller Genuine Draft, and Miller High
Life. The company imports Pilsner Urquell, Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Foster's
and has craft brews Leinenkugel's and Henry Weinhard's. Its portfolio of
brands also includes Milwaukee's Best and Sharp's, a non-alcohol brew. Miller
produces Icehouse from the Plank Road Brewery, a small division of Miller;
Olde English 800; and Mickey's Malt Liquor. More information about Miller
Brewing Company is available at the company's corporate web site,
(1) AC Nielsen, Total US Supermarket Data 104 weeks ending 10/18/05
SOURCE Miller Brewing Company