After the company faced attacks from anti-trans people over the collaboration, Bud Light sent Mulvaney a personalized can to celebrate the first anniversary of her “Days of Girlhood” TikTok series.
The responses were overwhelming. A man was arrested after destroying a shelf of beer in a Kansas Walmart store, singer Kid Rock filmed himself shooting a Bud Light can, and a number of country stars including Riley Green, Travis Tritt, John Rich, and Brantley Gilbert The stars made their feelings known – sometimes not so subtly.
- The Wall Street Journal reported that Bud Light would buy back unsold, expired beer amid a right-wing boycott.
- Some conservatives are boycotting the beer because it featured an ad featuring trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
- The company is trying to recover sales by tripling Bud Light’s US summer marketing budget.
Two weeks after Mulvaney shared a photo of a single, personalized Bud Light designed for him, Brendan Whitworth, the company’s US CEO, shared a statement in an effort to quell the boycott.
The statement focused on the American values of “freedom, hard work, and respect for one another”. It did not mention Mulvaney or a single, personalized can.
“We did not intend to be part of a discussion that divides people,” Whitworth said in the statement. “We’re in the business of bringing people together over a beer.”
JPMorgan analysts warned this week that even though Anheuser-Busch’s sales could improve in the coming months as the company triples its summer budget for US branding, the projected decline in sales this year is about 12% to 13%. Global CEO Michel Doukeris said earlier this month that the decline in sales amounted to about 1% of global sales.
The JP Morgan analysis said, “We believe there is a subgroup of American consumers who will not be drinking Bud Light for the foreseeable future.”