Anheuser-Busch is again attempting to help its company recover from the backlash it has received and the boycott it has suffered as a result of what appeared to many to be a marketing partnership with transgender social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
Now Michel Doukeris, the chief executive of Bud Light parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev, is doing so by releasing a statement minimizing Bud Light’s relationship with Mulvaney, claiming that the relationship was not a marketing campaign.
In his words: “We need to continue to clarify the fact that this was one can, one influencer and one post and not a campaign… As we move forward, we have adjusted and streamlined our marketing structure so the most senior marketeers are more closely connected to every aspect of our brands.”
Doukeris also noted that the distributors for the brand have suffered the most, saying, “This situation has impacted our people, especially our frontline workers, the delivery drivers, sales representatives, our wholesalers, bar owners and servers. We’ve been doing everything we can to support our teams, ensuring they are safe continuing to brew, package and – together with our wholesalers – deliver great beer to the market.”
He also said, that everything Bud Light and other Anheuser-Busch brands should do is be “about beer,” saying, “Everything we do should be about beer and should promote beer. It is an essential part of life’s meaningful moments, whether in sports, music or celebrations. These are moments that bring people together. And this is why I love beer.”
He then added, “While beer will always be at the table when important topics are debated, the beer itself should not be the focus of the debate. Bud Light is about being easy to drink and easy to enjoy. That’s what consumers want and that’s what we are focused on delivering.“
Elsewhere in the statement, Doukeris admitted that the brand is seeing other challenges as well, saying, “Seeing [the situation] in the context of our global business gives us perspective. Over the years, our global footprint has enabled us to successfully navigate different types of challenges such as the temporary ban on beer sales in certain countries, and the month-long shut down of bars and restaurants across the globe.”
Why Doukeris is desperately trying to get people to back of the boycott is obvious: it’s starting to work. For example, the New York Post recently reported that Bud Light’s sales have fallen tremendously, saying:
The latest sales data from NielsenIQ and Bump Williams Consulting shows that Bud Light sales fell 17% in dollars, while volume dropped a whopping 21% in the week ended April 15.
That’s sharply ahead of the 6% drop in sales dollars and 11% drop in volume that Bud Light had suffered during the week ended April 8 — the seven days that immediately followed the April 1 launch of the controversial Mulvaney campaign on social media.
It added, later in the article, that another trade publication found even worse results for Bud Light after the scandal, saying:
Overall, Bud Light’s volume declined by 34.7% at bars, restaurants and other venues between April 2 and April 15, according to BeerBoard. Bud Light dropped to the No. 4 draft beer from No. 3 during the second week of the controversy, switching places with Coors Light, Brewbound reported on Monday.
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