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Brands Sound Off on the NFL's Brutal Episodes [Updated]

Budweiser, Radisson send pro football a message

Anheuser-Busch strives for a wholesome image these days and is concerned with the NFL's ability to do so.

UPDATE: Castrol, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble's Cover Girl, Campbell's Soup and Visa have joined the chorus of advertisers criticizing the NFL since this story published yesterday.

Anheuser-Busch scolded the National Football League today for keeping a house marred by ugly controversies in the last week. The brewer inked a $1.2 billion sponsorship deal with the league a few years ago to promote Bud Light and Budweiser.

"We are disappointed and increasingly concerned by the recent incidents that have overshadowed this NFL season," the St. Louis-based company said, in a statement. "We are not yet satisfied with the league’s handling of behaviors that so clearly go against our own company culture and moral code. We have shared our concerns and expectations with the league."

The statement followed Radisson Hotels' decision last night to halt its sponsorship with the Minnesota Vikings, following the team reinstating star running back Adrian Peterson, who has been accused of abusing his four-year-old son.

"Radisson takes this matter very seriously, particularly in light of our long-standing commitment to the protection of children," the Minnetonka, Minn.-based brand said in a statement. "We are closely following the situation and effective immediately, Radisson is suspending its limited sponsorship of the Minnesota Vikings while we evaluate the facts and circumstances."

After the Peterson episode—coupled with the Ray Rice domestic abuse debacle last week—the NFL has come under intense scrutiny. Yesterday, Wheaties said it was scrubbing Peterson from its cereal boxes while an activist photoshopped a Cover Girl ad to depict a battered women.

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