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Ads poke fun at claims of watered-down beer

NEW YORK — The maker of Budweiser is using splashy newspaper ads to poke fun at a lawsuit that alleges its beer is watered down.

In full-page ads in 10 newspapers on Sunday, including The New York Times and Los Angeles Times, Anheuser-Busch InBev shows one of the 71 million cans of drinking water it has sent to the American Red Cross and other relief organizations responding to disasters. ‘‘They must have tested one of these,’’ the ad says.

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The class-action lawsuit, filed in several states, accuses the brewer of cheating consumers out of the stated alcohol percentage by adding water just before bottling its beers.

The water cuts the alcohol content by 3 percent to 8 percent, according to the lawsuit’s lead lawyer, Josh Boxer. The lawsuits are based on information from former employees, he has said.

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