It’s the marketing calamity we’ll still be talking about in 10 years’ time, but it appears there’s finally some good to have come from Dylan Mulvaney’s disastrous collab with Bud Light that has since seen the brewer lose $US22 billion in market cap.
A new poll by the US edition of The Daily Mail has revealed the ongoing brouhaha has done little harm to Mulvaney’s reputation and, arguably, rights for trans people.
When asked the question, “Has Dylan Mulvaney become more or less relevant following the Bud Light controversy?” some 49 per cent of respondents to the poll said more relevant. A further 24 per cent said less relevant, an equal number said there had been no change in their perceptions, while three per cent opted for “not sure”.
And, in what will arguably come as a shock to no one, 78 per cent of left-leaning Democrat voters said they had a more favourable view of Mulvaney, while 74 per cent of conservative Republican voters (arguably Bud Light’s drinking base) said they had a less favourable view.
And the controversy has been good for Mulvaney’s social media. The influencer now boasts 10.7 million followers on TikTok and another 1.8 million on Instagram according to The Daily Mail.
And she’s translating that audience into BIG bucks. Mulvaney charges $US50,000 ($A75K) a post to promote anything from cosmetic brands to sanitary napkins, helping her net more than $US1 million ($A1.5 million) annually.
In further Bud Light disaster news it would appear the brand’s parent company Anheuser-Busch and its CEO Brendan Whitworth is finally taking responsibility for the marketing disaster that has seen sales plummet by as much as 30 per cent and Bud Light lose its position as America’s number one selling beer.
When the fracas first broke in early April, Anheuser-Busch’s C-suite dismissed the Mulvaney collab as the work of junior marketers and a third party agency that had since been sacked.
Soon realising the gravity of the situation, Whitworth became the media face of its PR drive while he promptly stood down senior CMOs in the business.
With not only Bud Light sales plummeting but other Anheuser-Busch brews impacted, Whitworth has now called on boycotting customers to consider the livelihoods of the 65,000 people whose economic well-being is intricately tied to Anheuser-Busch InBev’s success.
Last week B&T reported on news of upwards of 700 people losing their jobs at Bud Light bottling plants in North Carolina and Louisiana as the customer boycott took a serious bite into sales.
Whitworth called on people not to punish the workforce but rather to attribute blame to him. He made it clear that he acknowledges the repercussions of the promotion and urged consumers to continue supporting Bud Light.
“It’s the impact honestly on the employees that weighs the most on me,” Whitworth said.
Meanwhile a former Anheuser-Busch executive has described Bud Light’s collab with Mulvaney as “a mistake”.
Anson Frericks, the former president of operations, told The Claman Countdown he was “shocked” by how much money the company has lost.
“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 added that Whitworth needed to take full responsibly and should have said, “Of course, this [partnership] was a mistake.”
Frericks added: “We wouldn’t do this again ’cause we’ve lost billions of dollars of market cap. Our brands are down almost 30 per cent, 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.
“[Bud Light] was the largest brand in the US because it was remarkably apolitical. It was always about sports, it was always about music, it was about bringing people together. That’s why it was a mistake that they did this campaign in the first place because they were unable to come out.
“This campaign was a mistake. Anheuser-Busch will not be doing campaigns like this moving forward. We’ll get back to the things that bring everybody together. Hopefully that can protect the jobs at Anheuser-Busch, jobs at wholesalers and get this company back growing in the right direction,” Frericks added.