Patriotic Yuengling Won a Legal Battle Against Bud Light After Marketing Department Went 'Too Far': Flashback
Anheuser-Busch was threatened with legal action less than two years ago after America’s oldest brewer, D.G. Yuengling and Son, accused the international company of stealing one of its taglines and using it on social media.
The Pennsylvania-based brewer, which is wholly American-owned, sent Anheuser-Busch a cease-and-desist letter in December 2021 after an online pitch for zero-carb Bud Light asked drinkers to “Get ready for the next generation of beer.”
Yuengling had already been using the phrase “the next generation of light beer” for its 95-calorie Flight brew.
In a tweet posted on Dec. 15, 2021, Yuengling’s social media team wrote directly to Bud Light.
The tweet featured an image of Flight and stated, “@budlight we know imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but this is going a bit too far.”
@budlight we know imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but this is going a bit too far. pic.twitter.com/PxUHTCdqXC
— Yuengling Brewery (@yuenglingbeer) December 16, 2021
The original post from Bud Light was deleted.
According to Newsweek, that is because the company was threatened with legal action by Yuengling and voluntarily removed all social media mentions describing its no-carb beer as “the next generation” of drinks.
In fact, Yuengling had trademarked the phrase a year earlier.
Yuengling spokesman Paul Capelli said in a statement obtained by Newsweek that Anheuser-Busch risked confusing customers.
“Flight by Yuengling is one of our lead brands; it’s one of our fastest-growing brands,” Capelli said. “We’ve created this great product, and if some other light beer takes our tagline and puts it on their brand, obviously that is extremely confusing for the consumer.”
The situation between the world’s largest beer conglomerate and a small, patriotic brewery located in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, was resolved without an official lawsuit.
But Yuengling’s defense of its brand was not the last time the brewer called out Anheuser-Busch online with an accusation.
Four weeks later, Yuengling responded to an ad from Anheuser-Busch that accused it of copying its eagle logo.
The self-anointed “king” of beers updated its image which drew a quick response from Yuengling on Twitter.
The company tweeted its iconic eagle logo alongside its rival’s revamped bird and commented, “Cool new Eagle. We’re flattered. Yuengling, America’s Oldest Brewery, established 1829.”
Cool new Eagle. We’re flattered. Yuengling, America’s Oldest Brewery, established 1829. https://t.co/nP0FSZJdGp pic.twitter.com/4hyyLdpOpt
— Yuengling Brewery (@yuenglingbeer) January 19, 2022
Bud Light is currently facing a boycott by longtime customers over its decision to partner with transgender social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
As the saga has played out in recent weeks, Yuengling has quietly expanded its footprint across the country — far west of its Pennsylvania base.
The beer became available in Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma in recent weeks, The Oklahoman reported.
Yuengling’s fortuitous westward expansion comes as Anheuser-Busch has been losing customers.
But the move into new markets has been in the works since last year.
A manager at a major retailer told The Western Journal that Yuengling has been flying off of store shelves throughout the region.
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