Pre-Game Spots Attacked Anheuser-Busch Product

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CHICAGO ( -- News Corp.'s Fox network won't air ads on Super Bowl Sunday from Miller Brewing Co. attacking Anheuser-Busch's Budweiser Select, the network said.

Negative portrayal
"Fox has made a decision to not accept specific ads from Miller on Super Bowl Sunday that we consider to portray Anheuser-Busch products, the largest single supporter of the day's programming, in a negative way," said Jon Nesvig, president of advertising sales for Fox. "While we appreciate Miller's desire to advertise with us and would willingly accept other ads for Miller products, the decision was made to reject these specific ads based on the degree of spending Anheuser-Busch has achieved in support of Fox and the Super Bowl."

Miller today broke ads from Interpublic Group of Cos.' Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., that poke fun at Bud Select, which is low-carb and has a crisp taste. The ads tout Miller Lite, saying if Anheuser-Busch wanted a better light beer it should have asked Miller.

Buying time locally
Miller planned to air the ads on Fox during the pregame show; Anheuser-Busch is the exclusive beer sponsor during the game. Miller will be running the ads in local markets on game day and during the Super Bowl, a spokesman said.

Anheuser-Busch plans to roll out Bud Select on Feb. 21. The brewer will be running a spot during the Super Bowl in support of Bud Select. Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide, Chicago, is creating the ad. Anheuser-Busch had also considered a spot from Omnicom's TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, Calif.

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