As the boycott of Bud Light continues and its parent company sheds billions in market value thanks to the backlash against Bud Light’s marketing partnership with Dylan Mulvaney, Bud Light is having to resort to ever more desperate tactics to keep its distributors and customers around.
For example, Bud Light is now buying back unsold, expired cases of beer from its distributors, as the Wall Street Journal noted in a recent report. Further, it’s also offering free cases of beer to customers to try and get them to buy Budweiser products again.
That move came just ahead of the Memorial Day weekend, over which a good amount of Bud Light would have been consumed in the past. To try to get people to buy Budweiser instead of rivals, the company revealed a new promotion called the US Budweiser Family Memorial Day Rebate online.
For customers from eligible states, the rebate promises an amount “equivalent to the purchase price of one (1) 15-pack or larger, up to $15” of Bud Light, Budweiser, Budweiser Select or Budweiser Select 55 paid via Anheuser-Busch Digital Prepaid Mastercard. Based on recent prices for Bud Light products, this rebate amounts to giving packs of beer away for free before tax.
Displays seen in two different stores in Wisconsin, a state known for drinking a lot of beer: pic.twitter.com/x3vMD4Tp1r
— Haz (@Michael_Haz) May 24, 2023
The rebate move comes alongside Anheuser-Busch’s attempts to distance itself from Mulvaney. Michel Doukeris, the chief executive of Bud Light parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev, attempted 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.”
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