Anheuser-Busch, the producer of Bud Light, recently addressed its consumers following a boycott that has significantly impacted the beer’s sales. The boycott was initiated after the brand released a promotional can featuring a transgender activist’s face.
Brendan Whitworth, the CEO of Anheuser-Busch’s U.S. division, released a statement on Thursday seemingly in response to the boycott, although he did not directly mention the controversy or the activist, Mulvaney. “We recognize that over the last two months, the discussion surrounding our company and Bud Light has moved away from beer, and this has impacted our consumers, our business partners, and our employees,” Whitworth said. “We are a beer company, and beer is for everyone.”
Whitworth outlined “three important actions” that the company is taking to steer Bud Light forward. These include protecting the jobs of frontline employees, providing financial assistance to wholesalers, and altering its advertising strategy. “Our summer advertising launches next week, and you can look forward to Bud Light reinforcing what you’ve always loved about our brand—that it’s easy to drink and easy to enjoy,” the company stated.
Industry data reveals that Bud Light has slipped to the No. 2 spot in the U.S. beer market, with Modelo Especial taking the lead in May. The sales decline followed a social media post by Mulvaney featuring the Bud Light beer can, which led conservative influencers and musicians to encourage consumers to boycott the brand.
In response to Anheuser-Busch’s statement, a group of the company’s wholesalers expressed their appreciation for the support announced by Whitworth. They acknowledged the “challenging” environment they have faced over the past few months and expressed their commitment to moving forward together.
Prominent figures such as singer Kid Rock, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and former President Donald Trump have publicly expressed their disapproval of Bud Light. Kid Rock used Bud Light cans for target practice, DeSantis announced a boycott, and Trump encouraged consumers to boycott brands over their left-wing stances.
Michel Doukeris, the CEO of Anheuser-Busch InBev’s global operations, attributed the Bud Light backlash to social media “misinformation” and “confusion”. He also attempted to distance his company from Mulvaney, stating that only “one can” of beer was made featuring Mulvaney’s face.