Layoffs Follow Bud Light’s Marketing Fiasco

Flickr/Philip Leara

Anheuser-Busch, the world’s leading brewer, has announced a series of layoffs affecting hundreds of employees. The decision follows a controversial partnership with transgender TikTok influencer Dylan Mulvaney, which led to a significant drop in Bud Light sales.

Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth expressed that the decision was not taken lightly and was aimed at ensuring the company’s long-term success. The layoffs primarily affected corporate and marketing roles in the company’s U.S. offices in St. Louis, New York, and Los Angeles, while brewery and warehouse staff were not impacted.

The company’s sales took a hit after it partnered with Mulvaney, resulting in a nearly 30% drop in Bud Light sales compared to 2022. The company had sent customized cans to Mulvaney to celebrate “365 days of girlhood,” a move that sparked boycotts and backlash.

Despite the controversy, Whitworth maintained that the company’s goal was to bring people together over a beer. However, he acknowledged that the discussion surrounding the company and Bud Light had moved away from beer, impacting consumers, business partners, and employees.

In the wake of the campaign, Anheuser-Busch placed two employees on leave: Alissa Heinerscheid, vice president of marketing for Bud Light, and Daniel Blake, Budweiser’s group vice president for marketing. Additionally, Bud Light lost its top spot as the No. 1 selling beer brand on a dollar basis to Modelo Especial.

The company is set to release its quarterly financial report next week.