Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD) is taking class action lawsuits against its leading beer brands in the U.S. lightly.
The company is running a series of ads in leading U.S. newspapers mocking accusations that it waters down its beers by displaying cans of drinking water that it distributes to charities working in emerging countries and a slogan suggesting that critics had tested one of those. Anheuser-Busch denies the claims and insists “we take no shortcuts,” the Telegraph notes.
Former employees in the U.S. have said the brewer adds water to its beer prior to bottling. The practice lowers the beer’s alcohol content. Lawyers have seized on the claims, filing a number of lawsuits with demands of up to $5 million in damages on behalf of beer drinkers.
Ten of the company’s most popular brands, including Budweiser, Michelob, King Cobra, Bud Ice, Bud Light Platinum, Busch Ice and Bud Light Lime are named in the lawsuits.
Anheuser-Busch says it complies with all alcohol labeling laws.
Last month, Anheuser-Busch said it would restructure its attempted merger deal with Mexico’s Grupo Modelo (PINK:GPMCY) in order to win the approval of U.S. regulators, who have sued to block the deal.
Shares of Anheuser-Busch sank fractionally in Monday morning trading.