Major financial and investment institution HSBC added to Bud Light’s parent company Anheuser-Busch’s woes after analyst Carlos Labor downgraded the stock over the ongoing “crisis” stemming from the heavily-criticized partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
In a statement recommending the downgraded recommendation to “hold” the stock, meaning he no longer suggested investors buy into Anheuser-Busch, Laboy admitted there is far more than even meets the eye and that there are “deeper problems than ABI admits.”
“ABI’s leadership is not getting the brand culture transformation right, Laboy said of the recent downgraded. Subsequently, the stock tumbled. “At Ambev, we think the answer is ‘yes’; in the US, we think it’s ‘no.’ The way this Bud Light crisis came about a month ago, management’s response to it, and the loss of unprecedented volume and brand relevance raises many questions.”
Part of what stands out in Laboy’s analysis is upper management’s response to the public blowback. As of yet, neither Bud Light nor Anheuser-Busch has explicitly apologized for their ad stunt involving Mulvaney, whose activism has created a sharp divide on the right and left. Surely these entities are aware of exactly why there is such pushback, but since they are now between a rock and a hard place – apologize for featuring Mulvaney and win back fans or apologize for Mulvaney and endure the wrath of the LGBT lobby – there doesn’t appear to be an immediate solution to the conundrum.
Laboy continued, saying, “Why did its US leadership underestimate the risk of pushback given the recent experience of other firms? Is A-B hiring the best people to grow the brands and gauge risk? If Budweiser and Bud Light are iconic American ideas that have long brought consumers together, why did these marketers fail to invite new consumers without alienating the core base of the firm’s largest brand?”
Michel Doukeris, the chief executive of Anheuser-Busch InBev, attempted to appease both sides, neither distancing ABI completely from the failed partnership nor leaning into it. In the wake of the intense public reaction, he released a statement minimizing Bud Light’s relationship with Mulvaney, claiming that the relationship was not a marketing campaign.
Still, for consumers turned off by seeing a biological male embracing girlhood and getting featured by Bud Light, it wasn’t enough.
In Doukeris’s 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.”
Former president Donald Trump has also weighed in, using the successful Bud Light boycott as an example of how conservatives can change the cultural landscape by putting an end to spending money where they don’t see their values represented.
Trump took to Truth Social, where he said, “It’s time to beat the Radical Left at their own game. Money does talk—Anheuser-Busch now understands that. Great new Book by Wayne Allyn Root. Buy your copy today!” The title of the book Wayne Allyn Root reads “The Great Patriot Buy-cott Book”. Other text on the book’s cover says, “The Great Conservative Companies to Buy From & Invest In!” It continues, “The Winning Game Plan to FUND Conservative, Patriotic & Christian Companies and DEFUND Leftist Woke Companies!”
According to the Amazon description of the book referenced by Trump in the post, the book is about, in part:
The Winning Game Plan to DEFUND Leftist Woke Companies and FUND Conservative, Patriotic & Christian Companies!
Are you a conservative patriot?
- Do you love America?
- Do you support capitalism?
- Are you frustrated with the direction of this country?
- Do you fear for the future of your children and/or grandchildren?
- Do you believe in Judeo-Christian values?
- Do you see America under attack?
- Does this seem like a Socialist/Marxist/Communist takeover?
- Do you see and feel evil all around us?
If your answer is YES to any of these questions…..
THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU!
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