Angry Italians Say Basta to Miller Lite Ad

By Caitlin Millat
|  Wednesday, Jun 3, 2009  |  Updated 8:59 PM CDT
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Angry Italians Say Basta to Miller Lite Ad

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Miller Lite has caved in -- to the Italians.

Italians are telling the Godfather of beers to fuhgeddabout ads poking fun at the mafia -- or else.

A group of Italians angry at ads cracking on Sicily-style Sopranos lingo have convinced beer king MillerCoors to pull down the Miller Lite commercials, which aired on Chicago TV, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Miller Lite Ad

In one ad, a character from "The Sopranos" enters a liquor store and asks the owner if he needs protection -- and the owner points to a Miller Lite keg and says he's got all the "protection" he needs. Another shows the same character, Vincent, threateningly asking a bartender if he's a "wiseguy."

"We seem to be the last breed in America that ad agencies think they can take a shot at," said Lou Rago, founder of the Italian American Human Relations Foundation of Chicago.

Rago's group helped campaign to get the Miller Lite ads off the air, threatening that he would convince Italian-Americans throughout the country to boycott all MillerCoors products.

On Wednesday afternoon, Vincent said he was "absolutely surprised" by the objections.

"I think both of these groups should have a better sense of humor," said Vincent, who has played a number of mafia characters over the years. He said he didn’t hesitate at all in taking on the role in the Miller Lite "Protection" campaign.

The commercials were designed to run through the summer, but MillerCoors, the company behind Miller Lite, said it'll have the ads down within the week.

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