Recently, the CEO of Anheuser-Busch tried to backtrack and disown the Dylan Mulvaney brand sponsorship. The CEO tried to say that the partnership with Mulvaney was “not a campaign” and it was “just one can.”
CEO Michel Doukeris commented on the recent boycotts against Bud Light on a quarterly earnings call with investors this week. Doukeris claimed “misinformation” is spreading around the internet regarding the company’s involvement with Mulvaney.
Doukeris said, “We need to clarify the facts that this was one camp, one influencer, one post and not a campaign.” He continued, “We will continue to learn, meet the moment in time, all be stronger and we work tirelessly to do what we do best: Bring people together over a beer and creating a future of more cheers.”
Bud Light sales have tanked 26 percent after the brand collaboration with Dylan Mulvaney. However, Anheuser-Busch reported first-quarter earnings of $1.65 billion that beat Wall Street’s expectations. Although, it is important to note that the boycott did not start until the end of the first quarter in April. So given more time, it will be interesting to see how the Bud Light boycott will impact future earnings. It is also unclear to what extent the boycott applies to other products owned by Anheuser-Busch outside of Bud Light.
Doukeris also told investors on the earnings call that the parent company would triple its advertising spend this summer to attempt to revive the brand image of Bud Light following the Dylan Mulvaney controversy. The New York Post also reported on Bud Light’s plan to recover from the marketing disaster:
At a closed-door meeting this week in Washington, DC, Anheuser-Busch executives told US beer distributors they will “spend heavily on the brand after spending fell off a cliff last year,” Benj Steinman, editor of Beer Marketer’s Insights, told The Post.
Bud execs said at the Monday meeting that the fresh marketing push will begin this week, Steinman said, as the beer giant scrambles to reverse the damage from the controversial Mulvaney campaign, which sent sales of Bud Light plunging 17% during the week ended April 15.
Anheuser-Busch “did promise to spend lotsa dough on Bud Light [marketing] this spring and summer, starting with big push this week for the NFL draft,” Steinman wrote in a report to clients on Wednesday that was obtained by The Post.
Bud Light has also taken on a desperate strategy of sending free cases of beer to its distributors who have taken a massive financial hit in the wake of the boycott. This is an attempt on Bud Light’s behalf to repair the relationships that have been strained with these distributors. The Wall Street Journal posted an article on its Twitter account with the caption, “The maker of Bud Light is working to make amends with its distributors, who say they have taken the brunt of the backlash to a company promotion with Dylan Mulvaney, a transgender social-media star.” The article claims that Anheuser-Busch has pledged to give every employee of their wholesalers a free case of beer.
The maker of Bud Light is working to make amends with its distributors, who say they have taken the brunt of the backlash to a company promotion with Dylan Mulvaney, a transgender social-media star https://t.co/xk0QWP7mnD
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) May 3, 2023
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