Budweiser have requested that Paramount remove all images of their beer in Denzel Washington's warmly received new film, Flight, which tells the tale of an aeroplane polite with a penchant with boozing.
"We would never condone the misuse of our products, and have a long history of promoting responsible drinking and preventing drunk driving," Robert McCarthy, said in a statement, according to Reuters. "It is disappointing that Image Movers, the production company, and Paramount chose to use one of our brands in this manner." It's a strange case, as brands are normally fighting tooth and nail to get their products placed in the highest grossing films, but given the delicate subject matter of the film, Budweiser's PR people have clearly expressed concern. ABC quote Matt Patches, movies editor at Hollywood.com, saying, "The general practice on a film set is to go through publicity of a company and make sure everyone is on the same page, and often get free product for use in the movie. We need to see that Denzel Washington's character is dependent on products we can find at the local store, if only to drive home the emotional impact of his alcoholism," he said. "If Paramount was worried about licensing the products through Anheuser-Busch because of the subject matter, it's easy to see why we are only hearing complaints about the logo after the fact."
Despite this issue, Flight has enjoyed a relatively successful opening, and an even better response from critics, who cite Washington's impressive performance as the key point of the movie.