A former Anheuser-Busch executive recently spoke about the massive financial hit the beer company has taken since partnering with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney earlier this year. Anson Frericks has been vocal about his former employer’s failure, slamming leadership at Anheuser-Busch and Bud Light for allowing this to happen.
Frericks previously served as the former President of Sales and Distribution at Anheuser-Busch before leaving to found Strive Asset Management eventually. He has harshly criticized the company’s decision-making surrounding the controversy with Bud Light. Frericks recently stated that he was “shocked” at how much money has been lost due to the continual boycott against the company.
“I think I’m even more shocked, though, about the lack of clear response that the current CEO has delivered during this crisis,” Frericks said. He further argued that Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth has had multiple chances to redeem his company but has squandered each. One of Frericks critiques is that company leadership has not taken a firm stance on the Mulvaney disaster.
Whitworth appeared on “CBS Mornings” last month, where the CEO answered questions regarding the state of his company amid the seemingly never-ending boycott. However, he was slammed for dancing around the questions, particularly when asked if he would allow the Mulvaney collaboration to happen again after observing its consequences.
“There’s a big social conversation taking place right now, and big brands are right in the middle of it and it’s not just our industry or Bud Light. It’s happening in retail, happening in fast food. And so for us what we need to understand is — deeply understand and appreciate — is the consumer and what they want, what they care about and what they expect from big brands,” Whitworth said.
Frericks spoke out against this response, vehemently slamming it. The Strive Asset Management co-founder claimed Whitworth should have taken a strong, confident stance owning up to the mistake of partnering with Mulvaney and vowing never to repeat it.
“Of course, this [partnership] was a mistake,” Frericks said. “We wouldn’t do this again ’cause we’ve lost billions of dollars of market cap. Our brands are down almost 30%, and all of a sudden, we’re putting a lot of our suppliers at risk, and they’re laying off hundreds of people from jobs at some of their suppliers.’ There’s going to be more employees at risk if we don’t find a CEO who can somehow address the situation, get those customers back that were always loyal to Bud Light and move this company forward,” he continued.
The latest opportunity, according to Frericks, was the 4th of July holiday, a period of massive demand for beer. The former Anheuser-Busch executive called it the “number one beer-selling week of the year.” Anheuser-Busch previously indicated that it would significantly ramp up its advertising spend over the summer months to recapture lost customers during heightened demand.
However, these new advertisements that are obviously geared toward reeling back boycotters have been met with a harsh response from social media users voicing their intense disdain for the beer over four months after the controversy began. This has led to speculation that the beer may never recover.
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