Bud Light’s marketing fiasco continues to make headlines almost a month after it happened with news over the weekend that the beer’s owner, Anheuser-Busch, had reportedly sacked the unnamed agency responsible for the campaign that featured trans activist, Dylan Mulvaney.
Anheuser-Busch CEO Michel Doukeris told investors on a Thursday earnings call about the “misinformation” spreading on social media about Mulvaney’s advertisements on behalf of Bud Light.
“We need to clarify the facts that this was one camp, one influencer, one post and not a campaign,” he said, Fox Business reported.
It had been reported that sales of Bud Light in the US had plummeted as much as 30 per cent. Doukeris didn’t exactly deny the claim but said that represented a mere one per cent of Anheuser-Busch’s global volume output.
According to reports on The New York Post, Anheuser-Busch told distributors that the specialty can designed with Mulvaney’s image was not designed by Anheuser-Busch and wasn’t created in one of its facilities, and that the company had ended its relationship with the advertising agency behind the idea.
Meanwhile, calls to boycott Bud Light continue apace but not from the angry, white males you’d expect.
Rather a number of gay bars in Chicago have joined forces to ban the sale of all Anheuser-Busch products including Busch Light, Bud Light and Goose Island 312 as a protest of the treatment of Mulvaney. The boycotts are expected to move to New York bars, too.
One bar involved in the boycott, Sidetrack Bar, shared its boycott plan on Instagram, saying the brewer’s moves “strongly bring into question their support of the LGBTQ+ community”.
“For 41 years Sidetrack has encouraged liquor and beer companies that have wished to garner the LGBTQ+ customer base to actively support our community,” the bar’s statement said.
“Bud Light’s recent decision to drop the Dylan Mulvaney campaign, to put on ‘leave’ those who created it, as well as the statement by its CEO, wrongfully validates the position that it is acceptable to acquiesce to the demands of those who do not support the Trans community and wish to erase LGBTQ+ visibility,” it said.
2Bears Tavern Group, which owns four bars in Chicago, also announced their establishments would no longer serve Anheuser-Busch products because of the brewer’s “anti-transgender actions and statements”.
To add to the brewer’s woes, footage of fans studiously avoiding Bud Light beer stands at a recent Boston Red Sox baseball game has gone viral.
Some even likened the empty beer stands to some kind of absurd anti-capitalist art installation.
Art critic Alfredo Portobello said: “I’ve never seen anything quite like it. It’s as if the very lack of people itself has become the art, symbolising the void left behind by consumerism in our lives.”
Bud light is finished pic.twitter.com/8J1YZ9PWIX
— Clown World ™ 🤡 (@ClownWorld_) May 4, 2023
Boston Red Sox officials appeared to see the funny side. “While we appreciate the creativity of our fans, we’d like to clarify that this was not a planned art exhibit,” an official said in a statement. “Unfortunately, Bud Light’s recent decline in popularity has led to decreased interest in their stands. We assure you that this has nothing to do with postmodern artistic expression.”
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