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Anheuser-Busch above fray

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Carrie A. Moore's recent article, "Beer billboard causing a buzz" (Jan. 25), was ostensibly about a controversial billboard sponsored by a local Salt Lake brewery. However, despite the fact that the local company is "not affiliated with Budweiser" and "Budweiser had nothing to do with the billboard," the article implies that this ad is a slippery slope toward "aggressive" and "offensive" advertising by Anheuser-Busch, the company that makes Budweiser. Nothing could be further from the truth.

It is neither fair nor appropriate to draw Anheuser-Busch into criticism of another company's advertising efforts. At A-B, we take great pride in our long-standing commitment to responsibility in our marketing efforts. Moreover, since 1982, we have invested nearly $350 million in advertising and programs to raise awareness of responsible drinking and to fight underage drinking and drunken driving.

Anheuser-Busch respects the beliefs of those who abstain from drinking and hopes the abstainers extend the same respect to beer drinkers. Furthermore, we are confident that the citizens of Salt Lake City will recognize our sponsorship of the 2002 Olympics as tasteful and appropriate.

Francine I. Katz

Vice president, consumer affairs


St. Louis, Mo.