Thursday, May 29, 2008

False advertising with a side order of dilution

The LA Times features a story on Mt. Shasta Brewing Co.'s legal troubles. It's beer, but the federal government argues that the bottle cap's reference to marijuana, "Try LEGAL Weed," is false and misleading. (Remember the controversy over Cocaine energy drink? There's also Blow energy powder, with a similar shtick but less publicity.) Here, though, the brewer is actually in Weed, California, so the matter is at least more debatable than the Cocaine issue. But not much more: as the LAT notes, "Weed has a tradition of exploiting the double-entendre of its name. A pithy placard on the way out of town announces 'Temporarily Out of Weed.' Gas stations sell 'High on Weed' T-shirts. (The town, after all, is at an elevation of 3,500 feet.)"

The brewer also gets in a dig at a competitor: "While stomping on him, Dillmann says, the government treats Budweiser with kid gloves, despite the fact that 'This Bud's for You also could be mistaken for marijuana slang.

'They sell Bud. We sell Weed,' he said. 'What's the difference?'"

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