Big beer is still duking it out over corn syrup.
A federal judge on Wednesday ordered Anheuser-Busch to stop using Bud Light packaging that implies rival brews made by MillerCoors contain corn syrup. The order extends an injunction issued in May that barred Anheuser-Busch from making those claims in television, billboard and print advertising.
The cardboard packaging on Bud Light packages says "No Corn Syrup" in bold letters and invites customers to visit a website where it lists its ingredients. .
MillerCoors uses corn syrup in the fermentation process for Miller Lite and Coors Lite, but the final product doesn't contain corn syrup. It says Anheuser-Busch's campaign is illegal and bad for the industry.
In Wednesday's decision, Milwaukee-based U.S. District Judge William Conley said Anheuser-Busch can use the packaging it has until it runs out, or untilMarch, whichever comes first. The decision says that as of June 6, Anheuser-Busch had printed 64 million packages worth $27.7 million with the "No Corn Syrup" icon.
MillerCoors had asked Conley to force Anheuser-Busch to cover the corn syrup iconwith a sticker, but Anheuser-Busch claimed those stickers would cost $76 million, an estimate Conley said was "absurdly high."
The Anheuser-Busch campaign included Super Bowl ads that showed Bud Light knights delivering a barrel of corn syrup to a Miller Lite castle.
Anheuser-Busch said Wednesday it looks forward to defending its position in court.
The ad campaign has come at some cost to the beer maker. After the Super Bowl, the vice president of the National Corn Growers Association posted a video of himself pouring a can of Bud Light down his drain.