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Budweiser and Stolichnaya Want To Pull Their Products From Hollywood Blockbuster

Whitney Curtis, Getty Images

For most companies, getting product placement in a major Hollywood blockbuster would be a good thing. Unless, however, said Hollywood blockbuster portrays your product in a negative light.

Both Budweiser and vodka brand Stolichnaya have asked for their products to be removed from the upcoming Paramount film “Flight,” which portrays the main character as a heroic, but alcoholic pilot.

Anheuser-Busch InBev, maker of Budweiser beer, has asked Paramount to remove the beverage from the hit movie “Flight,” about an alcoholic pilot (Denzel Washington) who drinks and does drugs before landing a malfunctioning airplane, saving most of the passengers onboard.

In the drama, the character is shown drinking a Bud while driving. The Associated Press reports that the vodka brand Stolichnaya, also featured in the film in a hotel minibar, has asked for the removal of its product from the movie, as well, and says the company did not grant a license for the brand’s usage in the movie.”We would never condone the misuse of our products and have a long history of promoting responsible drinking and preventing drunk driving,” said Budweiser’s vice president, Robert McCarthy, in a statement to Reuters. “It is disappointing that Image Movers, the production company, and Paramount chose to use one of our brands in this manner.” The brewing company has asked that the logo be removed from digital copies of the film and from future versions.

Stolichnaya is also reportedly unhappy with the product placement. “Considering the subject matter of this film, it is not something in which we would have participated,” James Curich, spokesperson for Stoli distributor William Grant and Sons, told AP.

Unfortunately for the companies, there may not be much they can do about it. Paramount and most other major studios are protected by a “fair use” provision, which allows them to use widely recognized brands, such as Budweiser, without asking for the brand’s permission.

But regardless, complaints like this get the products in the news, so even if they say it’s bad publicity, they’re still going to use it to their advantage.

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