FOX Rejects Some Miller Super Bowl Ads


Miller Brewing Co.’s plans to run ads in the pregame show before Sunday’s Super Bowl appear to have hit a stumbling block.

Fox Broadcasting Co. said Friday that it would not allow Miller to show ads “that we consider to portray Anheuser-Busch products, the largest single supporter of the day’s programming, in a negative way.”

“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,” Jon Nesvig, Fox’s president of advertising sales, said in a statement.

Fox, which is owned by News Corp., did not identify the ads at issue, but The Wall Street Journal reported Friday they were 15-second Miller ads questioning Anheuser’s decision to introduce Budweiser Light, a new beer.

Fox did not reveal how much Anheuser-Busch is spending. Super Bowl ads cost an average of $2.4 million this year.

Efforts to reach officials at Miller Brewing, which is owned by London-based SABMiller PLC, or St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. for comment Friday night were not successful.

The Wall Street Journal quoted a Miller spokesman as saying the company would now buy advertising slots on local TV stations during the pregame and game. Spokesman Peter Marino also told the newspaper he was confident that Miller’s message on the new beer would be heard “even though Anheuser-Busch was able to bully the spots out of the official Super Bowl pregame.”

The development is the latest in an escalating marketing battle between the world’s two biggest beermakers. TV networks have refused to run some of each brewery’s ads, which attack each other’s light beer.

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Murtz Jaffer is the world's foremost reality television expert and was the host of Reality Obsessed which aired on the TVTropolis and Global Reality Channels in Canada. He has professional writing experience at the Toronto Sun, National Post, TV Guide Canada, and was a former producer at Entertainment Tonight Canada. He was also the editor at