The world’s largest brewer by sales is being sued in the US following claims from insiders it is cheating consumers out of the stated alcohol strength by adding water just before bottling its beers. Several class-action lawsuits have been filed in Pennsylvania, California and other states alleging the brewer has been watering down its beers since 2008 when it merged with Belgian-Brazilian Inbev, charges denied by the brewer.
The company has hit back at the accusations by launching a national print campaign. It humorously cites the 71 million cans of water it has donated to relief efforts around the world as the drink the watery beer claims have been mistaken for.
“They must have tested one of these”, the ad says showing a picture of the drink. It then goes on to assure readers that the “ Anheuser-Busch logo is our ironclad guarantee that the beer in your hand is the best beer we know how to brew.”
Paul Chibe, AB Inbev’s vice president of marketing in the US, told Marketing Week: “It’s a completely groundless law suit, it’s opportunism in a litigious society to try to do this. We are proud of our beer, we are proud of our brewing, we are proud of what we do day in day out and we are 100 per cent….1,000 per cent compliant with labelling law in this country.”
The brewer has primarily used Twitter to defend itself in the wake of the accusations a week ago. Activity has highlighted tests from various US broadcasters that have found the beers in full compliance of regulations.