If you haven’t yet come across it on social media, conservative celebrities and politicians called for a boycott of Bud Light after choosing transgender creator Dylan Mulvaney to be the face of its latest campaign. Soon, calls came for a reverse boycott, or buycott, encouraging people to buy Bud Light to show support for the marketing.

Sales of Bud Light slumped in early April, raising concern among investors that the post would both damage Bud Light’s position in the marketplace and that of other Anheuser-Busch brands. Bud Light sales fell 17 percent in the week ending April 15, according to Beer Business Daily.

This is in comparison to Anheuser-Busch reporting a 13.6 percent increase in first quarter earnings before interest, taxes and other expenses, to $4.7 billion; and a 13.2 percent jump in global revenues to $14.2 billion from a year earlier, mostly because of higher pricing and despite a decline in beer volume in many markets, including North America.

Executives downplayed the 17% decline, noting that it represented about 1 percent of total global volume and it was too early to determine if it would continue. Anheuser-Busch shares rose nearly 3 percent after the call, to $65.56, and are up 10 percent for the year. Its stock sank to lows of around $63 in April when data began to show the drop in sales.
Additionally Anheuser-Busch reported a 13.6 percent increase in first quarter earnings before interest, taxes and other expenses, to $4.7 billion; and a 13.2 percent jump in global revenues to $14.2 billion from a year earlier, mostly because of higher pricing and despite a decline in beer volume in many markets, including North America.

At the same time, however, only several days ago, the company said that it had placed two executives involved in the promotion on leave: Alissa Heinerscheid, the vice president of marketing for Bud Light, and Daniel Blake, who oversees marketing for Anheuser-Busch’s mainstream brands.

The key takeaway from this is how disappointing it is to witness how a simple, innocent collaboration with a creator who happens to be transgender can stir such hatred both within and outside of purchasing power. Purchase power is political and it is taking ‘risks’ like this which will hopefully influence a more enlightened consumer market in years to come. 

Categorized in: