The Life and Death of Spuds MacKenzie, the Original Party Animal

Spuds MacKenzie was a bull terrier that became the Bud Light mascot, first appearing in a Super Bowl XXI ad in 1987. The Spuds McKenzie ad campaign was not without its share of controversy. Shortly after Spuds' rise to fame, it was learned that the dog, portrayed as male in the ads, was actually female. The dog was a bull terrier named Honey Tree Evil Eye and was owned by Jackie and Stanley Oles of Chicago. Politicians and advocacy groups were quick to criticize the ads for promoting consumption of alcohol by children. Soon after the ads first aired in 1987, Senator Strom Thurmond began his own media campaign, claiming that the beer maker was using Spuds to appeal to children in order to get them interested in their product at an early age. By Christmas 1987, more legal action resulted from Bud Light's use of ads featuring Spuds dressed as Santa, which is illegal in states such as Ohio. In 1989, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, along with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, alleged that Anheuser-Busch was pitching the dog to children. Although the Federal Trade Commission found no evidence to support that allegation, Anheuser-Busch decided to retire Spuds in 1989, claiming that the character's image had started to overshadow the product. So, as you can see, controversy isn’t something that's new to Anheuser-Busch. As for Spuds, Honey Tree Evil Eye spent her retirement lounging with her family and eating Raisin Chex. She died of kidney failure at the age of 10 in 1993.