MILLER REVISES DISPUTED TV COMMERCIAL

Deletes Claims That Bud Light Changed

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- After scrapping with Anheuser-Busch, Miller Brewing Co. is submitting to the four major networks a revised version of its ad claiming Bud Light has changed.
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References dropped
The new ads are still set in a courtroom and still harp on Miller’s 2-year-old positioning that Miller Lite has more taste than Bud Light. But a Miller spokesman said the revised spots drop references to a “changed” Bud Light. That phrase was a source of contention with A-B, which cried foul with the initial spots and raised the issue with the networks. As a result, 10 of 32 networks on Miller’s schedule put the spots on hold pending substantiation of the claim. Miller provided its evidence earlier this week.

Reformulation denied
While the original ads did not elaborate on the “changed” claim, Miller is saying the carbonation and bitterness levels of Bud Light have increased since 2004. A-B has denied any reformulation.

Hoping to avoid the ad being held, Miller is dropping the “changed” claim in ads slated for Walt Disney Co.’s ABC, Viacom’s CBS, News Corp.’s Fox and General Electric Co.’s NBC. The brewer said it made the change to ensure it could get something on air before Thanksgiving.

New Web strategy
Miller, however, plans to step up the frequency of the initial “changed” spots, from MDC Partners’ Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami, on the 22 networks that did not stop airing them. Tomorrow, it breaks a print campaign directing people to a Web site showing the ads.

An A-B spokesman did not return a call late today for comment.

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