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Once one of the most popular beer brands in the U.S., Bud Light shares have taken a nosedive following a major marketing snafu that has cost the brand billions.
The brand’s rapid decline came on the heels of a shortlived partnership with trans activist Dylan Mulvaney, a biological male who identifies as and behaves like a female. Conservatives bolted in droves, but after the brand appeared to make attempts to cave to the pressure, LGBTQ Americans and restaurants also launched boycotts.
“The market value of Anheuser-Busch InBev, whose fourth bestselling brand is Bud Light, dropped $15.7 billion since April 1, based on a conversion to U.S. dollars by Investor’s Business Daily using data from S&P Global Market Intelligence,” the outlet reported this week.
“That’s the day Dylan Mulvaney, a TikTok influencer and transgender woman, pitched the Bud Light brand during the NCAA March Madness tournament.”
Meanwhile, IBD also noted that InBev competitors have added $3.2 billion in market value.
Bud Light sales cratered 23 percent for the week ending May 6 when compared to the previous year, The Western Journal added.
Jared Dinges, a beverage analyst for JPMorgan Chase, said earlier in the week that InBev should probably expect a portion of the losses — maybe even a large portion — to be permanent.
“We believe there is a subset of American consumers who will not drink a Bud Light for the foreseeable future,” Dinges noted. “We believe a 12 percent to 13 percent volume decline on an annualized basis would be a reasonable assumption.”
Last month, according to sources familiar with the situation, “no one at the senior level” within the company had prior knowledge of Bud Light’s collaboration with Mulvaney. The company swiftly moved to halt its marketing activities and implement a more comprehensive evaluation process for future influencer partnerships to ensure similar marketing mishaps don’t occur in the future.
“The claims come despite the company’s vice president of marketing recently touting her mandate to make the brand more ‘inclusive,’ and after the company issued a statement confirming the partnership and describing it as an attempt to ‘authentically connect with audiences across various demographics and passion points,’” The Daily Wire reported.
Mulvaney announced on Instagram earlier in April that “Bud Light sent me possibly the best gift ever: a can with my face on it.”
“Happy March Madness!!” Mulvaney captioned his Instagram post. “Just found out this had to do with sports and not just saying it’s a crazy month! In celebration of this sports thing @budlight is giving you the chance to win $15,000! Share a video with #EasyCarryContest for a chance to win!! Good luck.”
According to influential conservative activist Rogan O’Handley, known as DC Draino on Twitter, sources inside the company have told him that C-level executives were angered over the marketing engagement with Mulvaney. Similarly, former Newsmax host John Cardillo noted on Twitter it appears that those same executives did not approve the Mulvaney campaign, the outlet said.
“No one at a senior level was aware this was happening,” one source told the outlet. “Some low-level marketing staffer who helps manage the hundreds of influencer engagements they do must have thought it was no big deal. Obviously, it was, and it’s a shame because they have a well-earned reputation for just being America’s beer — not a political company. It was a mistake.”
The backlash against the iconic American beer brand was so strong that a Budweiser distributor in Missouri, where Anheuser Busch is headquartered, canceled an event featuring the company’s famous Clydesdale horses, citing sensitivity over the matter.
In the weeks that followed, the company subsequently began making new plans for a significant marketing campaign for Bud Light as the beer company attempts to recuperate following its collaboration, the Fox Business Network reported.