Drinks brands ask to be blurred from new Denzel Washington film

Ben Arnold
Yahoo UK Movies News7 November 2012

Budweiser and Stolichnaya have asked the makers of new Denzel Washington film 'Flight' to have their brands blurred out of view, according to reports.

The film, which is released in the UK on February 1 and is already out in the US, is an unflinching depiction of alcoholism, with Washington playing a pilot with a booze problem who becomes an unwilling hero after he saves lives following a plane crash.

[Related story: Denzel Washington to play The Equalizer]

But neither company are happy at being associated with the story and its negative connotations towards alcohol, particularly scenes in which Washington is shown drink-driving.

“We would never condone the misuse of our products, and have a long history of promoting responsible drinking and preventing drunk driving,” vice president of Budweiser Robert McCarthy told Reuters.

“It is disappointing that Image Movers, the production company, and Paramount chose to use one of our brands in this manner.”

The makers of Stolichnaya vodka were equally upset that their product should be used in a negative light.

“As the importer of Stoli to the United States, we were dismayed by the choice of Paramount to include Stoli in the recent film 'Flight',” said a spokesperson for parent company William Grant & Sons.

“Considering the subject matter of the film 'Flight', it is certainly not a project in which we would have willingly participated. The inclusion directly contradicts... our commitment to responsible marketing.

“Accordingly, we ask Paramount to remove any reference to the Stolichnaya brand, including the brand logo, from this film and all subsequent adaptations.”

Paramount is not obliged to remove the labels due to rules over fair usage rules which allow brands to be used without advance permission.

Watch the trailer for 'Flight' below:

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