As previously discussed, a group of plaintiffs brought a suit against Anheuser-Busch LLC in the Ninth Circuit Court arguing that the brewer’s use of the term “light” on the labeling of the Lime-A- Rita packaging was misleading to consumers as being a lighter alternative alcohol beverage.
The Ninth Circuit Court affirmed the dismissal appeal of the case against Anheuser-Busch ruling that “light” isn’t deceptive because the malt beverage does have fewer calories than a traditional margarita.
According to Law360, the three panel judge ruled 2-1 to affirm U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte Jr’s ruling that previously dismissed the suit. The opinion stated “It is clear from the label that the beverage is not a normal beer,” the majority wrote. “In addition to describing the product prominently as a Margarita With a Twist; the Lime-A- Rita label pictures a bright green drink, served over ice, in a margarita glass.”
Counsel for plaintiffs argued that Anheuser-Busch’s use of the Bud Light logo on the box means it is plausible that consumers would draw the comparison to an ordinary Bud Light, or a Bud Light Lime – both of which have many fewer calories than the Lime-A- Rita.
Unfortunately for the plaintiffs, the majority opinion of the judicial panel disagreed with the plaintiffs’ arguments but one of the dissenting Judges, Morgan Christen, felt that she would have at least revived the plaintiff’s claims of false advertising.