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Miller drops suit over Budweiser 'queen of carbs' claim

NEW YORK - Miller Brewing has abandoned attempts to have rival brewer Anheuser-Busch drop claims that Miller is the 'queen of carbs' in its advertising, after reports of research saying the company's sales were not being hurt by the ads.

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The "queen of carbs" dispute was one of several claims made in advertising by Anheuser-Busch brand Budweiser that led to Miller taking its rival to court.

Last month, Budweiser was ordered to stop saying that Miller Brewing is owned by South African Breweries in its ads, after a judge ruled in a Milwaukee court that the claim was inaccurate because South African Breweries no longer exists -- Miller is owned by SABMiller.

The argument stemmed from an advertising campaign created for Miller by Wieden & Kennedy, which said that it was running for the "president of beers".

Budweiser, which calls itself the "king of beers", responded with a series of ads by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners featuring its talking lizard Louie, who discussed the issue with a friend. In various ads, Louie says that you have to be American to run for president and highlighted Miller's South African ownership.

The "queen of carbs" ad is another dig at the adaptation of Bud's slogan by Miller, and refers to advertising by the latter that highlights the amount of carbohydrate in its beer -- a crucial fact in the Atkins-obsessed world.

Miller's complaint about the claim was due to be heard on June 29, but the company said that it was dropping the complaint. There are still other issues at stake, however, with accusations that Anheuser-Busch employees defaced Miller with stickers advertising Anheuser-Busch brands. The company says that this goes against its policy.

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