Clooney branches out as he lends his voice to Budweiser commercial

NEW YORK - Having already been blasted by Russell Crowe for appearing in booze ads in Europe, 'Ocean's 11' star George Clooney could be in for more of a roasting as he stars in a new Budweiser commercial.

It will be the second alcohol brand that the actor endorses. He has already appeared in campaigns for Martini, although these have not been shown in the US. He has also appeared in Italian ads for the Fiat Idea.

Clooney follows in the footsteps of fellow 'Ocean's 11' and 'Ocean's 12' star Brad Pitt, who is appearing in an ad for Heineken. However, he will not be seen on screen in the spot, according to reports, but will lend his voice.

Budweiser is one of the most high-profile advertisers in the US, generally making a splash with one or more of its campaigns during the Super Bowl adfest each year.

Last year, the brand was behind the most popular ad to screen during the sporting event, with a spot that showed a farting horse. But after the controversy surrounding Janet Jackson's breast exposure at the 2004 Super Bowl, the company decided to tone down its messages.

Clooney drew the criticism of Russell Crowe recently, when the Australian described actors including Harrison Ford and Robert De Niro as breaking their "social contract" with audiences by appearing in ads.

Clooney hit back with a jibe at Crowe's band, 30 Odd Foot of Grunts.

"I'm glad he set us straight. Harrison, Bob and I were putting a band together called Grunting for 30 Feet, and that would also fall under the heading 'bad use of celebrity'. Thanks for the heads up," he said.

Budweiser had no information about the Clooney campaign at the time of writing.

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