A conservative boycott of Bud Light began shortly after news of its marketing partnership with transgender social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney broke, and now the beer brand is struggling to recover and repair relationships with its distributors.
In fact, it’s now resorted to sending free cases of beer to its distributors, with the Wall Street Journal reporting on Twitter that “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 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
The WSJ reiterated the free case claim in its article on the subject, saying, “Anheuser-Busch InBev the country’s largest brewer, has pledged to boost its marketing spending on Bud Light, accelerate production of a new slate of ads, and give a case of Bud Light to every employee of an Anheuser-Busch wholesaler, distributors said.”
However, while Anheuser-Busch is acting like it’s giving away the cases to heal relationships, the real reason might be that that beer has gone unsold since the Mulvaney fiasco and is now at risk of going stale, and beer can’t be given away, so sending it for free to distributors is the better business decision than throwing it away.
In any case, that’s not all AB Inbev is doing in an attempt to recover. It’s also boosting advertising spending by a large amount and promising to better screen its marketing initiatives. Such is what the New York Post reported in an article on Bud Light’s recovery plan, saying:
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.
However, Steinman told the NYP that the meeting “wasn’t that productive and the distributors were hoping for more concrete plans” on how to stop the backlash against Bud Light, which apparently weren’t provided. According to Steinman, the distributors “want to put this behind them” but haven’t received much helpful guidance on how to do so.
Further, the NYP added that Budweiser promised during a series of Zoom meetings with US beer distributors that “there will be an improved screening process before any marketing hits the public,” and that “executives will have to go through a more rigorous screening process.”
However, the marketing strategy has already fallen flat with consumers, who derided its recent country music-themed commercial as “pandering,” mocking the company for thinking they could be so easily convinced that it’s not woke.
In fact, the boycott has been maintained despite the company’s attempts to woo back customers, and the result has been serious financial pain for the company. Such is what we reported on The American Tribune, saying:
New reports indicate Bud Light is in “serious trouble” as the boycott on the company continues. According to industry experts, the backlash has put such a dent in Bud Light’s sales it could even lose its status as the top-selling beer.
In early April, Bud Light enacted a controversial brand sponsorship with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney. Since then, a massive boycott among conservatives has led to a significant decrease in sales. Fox News reported:
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch published a scathing story, “Bud Light sales continue to plummet after transgender marketing controversy,” that put a spotlight on the massive decline.
Bud Light in-store sales have dropped 26% during the week that ended April 22, the Post-Dispatch reported, citing data from Connecticut-based Bump Williams Consulting, which specializes in the beverage alcohol industry.
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