Beer Alliance No Longer on Tap After Bud’s Contentious Corn Syrup Spot

AB InBev’s Super Bowl ad for Bud Light targeted two Molson Coors beers for using corn syrup.

A screenshot from Bud Light’s 2019 Super Bowl ad. (Anheuser-Busch/YouTube)
A screenshot from Bud Light’s 2019 Super Bowl ad. (Anheuser-Busch/YouTube)

Over the past two decades, beer’s share of the U.S. alcohol market has fallen from 56 percent in 1999 to around 45.5 percent today.

So, in order to avoid losing more ground to wine and spirits, four of the biggest beer companies vying for control of the U.S. market – Anheuser-Busch InBev, Molson Coors Brewing, Heineken and Constellation Brands – were discussing teaming up for a national campaign to revive sales.

Then, on Super Bowl Sunday, AB InBev put the alliance in jeopardy by running a Super Bowl ad for Bud Light that targeted a pair of Molson Coors brews for using corn syrup as an ingredient.

Following the Super Bowl spot targeting Coors Light and Miller Lite, MillerCoors, Molson’s U.S. unit, pulled out of a meeting about the proposed alliance.

 According to Pete Marino, MillerCoors’s communications chief, his brand considers it a “waste of time and money” to work on the campaign if AB InBev is going to run ads like that.

ABI’s misguided attempt to gain a competitive advantage threatens to single-handedly set back the health of our category for a long time,” he told The Wall Street Journal.

Here’s the contentious corn syrup Super Bowl spot.


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