One of Minnesota's most-popular brands of beer is being forced to change it's advertising message by a national regulatory group.

The change is being required of Molson Coors and the messaging that's gotten itself in trouble with the agency has to do with the slogan it uses to advertise its Miller Lite brand of beer.

Since last year, the beer distributor has used the phrase "light beer shouldn't taste like water" as part of it's multi-platform advertising messages - the ones you see on television, hear on the radio, read in newspapers and magazines, and the like. The group that oversees the validity of nationally-targeted advertising has taken issue with the phrase, following a complaint that was filed by Molson Coors main competitor Anheuser-Busch.

In a release dated February 23, the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau directed the company to "stop equating competitors' light beer to water".

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Part of the problem might be that Molson Coors doesn't specifically mention any of their competitors by name in their advertising message. That leaves it with a lack of a "measurable attribute".

The directive to cease using the phrase from the National Advertising Division states:

"....the comparison contains a 'measurable attribute' of the taste of light beer, yet doesn't include any evidence to back up this claim about the taste."

Molson Coors has fought back at the accusation, filing an expedited claim process with an appeal - based on the grounds that it doesn't break any laws. They claim that the slogan about other light beers tasting like water in their advertising "represents nothing more than an opinion".

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The beer company defended its position in a statement released to the public where their actions and their side of the disagreement. Adam Collins - the Chief Communications Officer for Molson Coors explains:

"In 2022, we released commercials for Miller Lite stating 'Light beer shouldn't taste like water. It should taste like beer'. Following a complaint from Anheuser-Busch, the National Advertising Division asked us not to publicly state the opinion that light beer shouldn't taste like water. We vehemently disagree with this decision because we beliee light beer should taste like beer, not water, and we are well within our right to share that belief. We have appeared the NAD's decision and will proudly continue to make light beer that taste like beer."

Furthermore, Molson Coors includes the argument that the advertising messages in question that use the phrase "light beer shouldn't taste like water" don't single out any of their competitors by name.

In defence of their complaint, Molson Coors competitor Anheuser-Busch shared:

"Anheuser-Busch appreciates NAD's thoughtful review and conclusion regarding Miller Lite's baseless advertising claims about light beer. True stewards of the beer industry should be working together to strengthen the beer category instead of resorting to misleading attacks that denigrate products enjoyed by millions of beer drinkers."

Molson Coors brews a wide variety of beer products - including Coors Light and Miller Lite along with other full-flavored brands. Anheuser-Busch is the maker of Bud Light, Busch Light, and Natural Light among other full-flavored brands.

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