Anheuser-Busch CEO Downplays Customer Boycott, Says Bud Light’s “About 1% Of Global Sales!”

Anheuser-Busch CEO Downplays Customer Boycott, Says Bud Light’s “About 1% Of Global Sales!”

B&T doesn’t need to remind you of the Bud Light fiasco some may say we’ve over-reported on since all hell broke loose back in early April.

Since the Anheuser-Busch-owned brand used trans activist Dylan Mulvaney in a social media campaign, customer boycotts have seen Bud Light sales plummet 30 per cent, it lose its title of US’ biggest selling beer brand, while a reported $US20 billion has been wiped from Anheuser-Busch’s market value.

There’s even media reports that Costco stores in the US have now marked unsold Bud Light cases with the “star of death” that means the product will be discontinued from sale.

With the CMOs responsible stood down with no set return date, you’d think this was a PR nightmare (as much as a financial one) for Anheuser-Busch CEO, Michel Doukeris (lead image).

However, in a first-quarter-earnings call to shareholders reported on news site The Street, Doukeris appeared to downplay the gravity of the situation.

And the CEO is in a tricky situation. If he apologises to conservative drinkers who’ve boycotted the brand he risks inflaming the LGBTQI+ community who they argue that not enough’s been done to protect Mulvaney. Gay bars in New York and San Francisco have also stopped selling all of Anheuser-Busch beers in protest.

Doukeris said: “Let me start by clarifying a few facts. This was the result of one can. It was not made for production or sale to the general public. It was one post, not a formal campaign or advertisement.”

“Bud Light is very important to our US business, and I would never minimise the situation,” he added. “However, seeing the context of our global company provides perspective.

“The Bud Light volume decline in the US over the first three weeks of April, as publicly reported, would represent around one per cent of our overall global volumes for that period.”

Anheuser-Busch brands include Stella Artois, Budweiser, Hoegaarden, Michelob Ultra and Busch.

Doukeris added: “With this perspective, and in the context of our global business, we believe we have the experience, the resources and the partners to manage this and our full-year EBITDA growth outlook is unchanged.”

Since the fracas broke, Bud Light has desperately tried to advertise its way out of the hole with a series of spots featuring hard-working Americans drinking the beer in the (northern hemisphere) summer sun.

“As to Bud Light, we have significantly increased our investments behind the brands in the US, including tripling our media spend over the summer,” Doukeris said.

“Now let’s talk about our consumers,” he said. “We continue to be committed to the programs and partnerships that we have forged over decades with our consumers and with organisations that represent a wide range of communities where we operate. We work every day to delight our consumers and bring people together. When we do this well, our brands perform.

“Beer 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 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.”





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Bud Light Dylan Mulvaney Michel Doukeris

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