Legendary businessman Kevin O’Leary recently gave his opinion on the controversy from Target’s decision to sell pride-themed merchandise. Mr. Wonderful called the decision a “huge mistake.”
“When Bud happened, I can’t believe that boards didn’t wake up to that decimation market cap… Budweiser was the American beer. It took decades to build that brand and they blew it up in 30 hours,” O’Leary said on Fox News’ “Jesse Watters Primetime.”
O’Leary continued, “Let me give you an example. Do you ever hear a CEO that represents a company ever talking about abortion? Never. Because that is an issue that will never be resolved. It’s a personal issue, it’s a family issue, it’s a religious issue. It’s partisan forever. You don’t touch it. Same thing with politics, same thing with gender identity. Everybody has a personal opinion about it. When you actually get involved in a fight like that, you lose 50% of your constituency.”
The “Shark Tank” star also slammed Bud Light for the recent Dylan Mulvaney controversy, calling the company the “poster boy for brand mismanagement.” O’Leary posted a clip on his Twitter page with the caption, “Bud Light has become the poster boy for brand mismanagement. The narrative that has risen around Bud Light is a good lesson. It highlights the power of social media. People that didn’t like the message, took it out by boycotting the product immediately.”
Bud Light has become the poster boy for brand mismanagement. The narrative that has risen around Bud Light is a good lesson. It highlights the power of social media. People that didn't like the message, took it out by boycotting the product immediately. pic.twitter.com/Hf9xh6stDr
— Kevin O'Leary aka Mr. Wonderful (@kevinolearytv) May 23, 2023
In the clip, O’Leary explained his thoughts on the Bud Light controversy, saying:
“Well, Bud Light has become the poster boy for brand mismanagement from multiple perspectives. So let me lay it out for you. Because these discussions that have arisen, and the narrative that’s arisen around Bud Light, is probably a good lesson for every CEO in every sector of the economy.
“Number one, it highlights the power of social media. This, this issue went viral in 48 hours. Yeah. And most often when an issue goes viral like that, it burns out in another 48 hours. But that’s not what happened. Hear the story and narrative change to sales.
“And so people that did not like the message, regardless of where you stand on these social issues, or gender narrative or whatever, they took it out by basically boycotting the product immediately. Yeah, it’s switching preference to other brands that did not make them get involved in this issue.
“Now, if you’re trying to manage that, and trying to learn something from it, and I certainly talked to all my CEOs about this, because here we are talking about it in its second month. Yeah. This is a nightmare from hell for the brand.
“You have to ask yourself in crisis management, what do you do? Because if you go to the other side, and try and balance the gender narrative, you’re going to get a whole new onslaught of people that don’t like that.
“So when you go into gender narrative on a beer, which is primarily consumed by men, maybe you should have thought a little bit about that in reading that room. Maybe you should say, Well, does this really fit my consumers psyche and narrative.”
Perhaps these companies should take O’Leary’s advice as Bud Light and Target had lost a cumulative market value of $28 billion, according to recent reports.
Note: Featured image is screenshot from embedded video.
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