Nearly three months after the transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney posted a video on her Instagram account to promote a Bud Light contest, setting off online outrage from the right and a boycott, the beerbrand is still struggling to win back loyal customers. Popular voices backing the boycott include musician Kid Rock, who posted a video of himself shooting a stack of Bud Light cases.
For more than two decades, Bud Light was the best-selling beer in the US. Its sales exceeded $5 billion last year, roughly 9% of brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev’s revenue. But since the boycott, Bud Light has been dethroned by Special Model. In the four weeks that ended in mid-June, the volume of BudLight sold nationally plunged an average of 29% from a year earlier, according to data from the research firm NIQ. Anheuser-Busch’s stock has also dropped more than 15% since early April. Brendan Whitworththe chief executive of AnheuserBusch North America Zone, has acknowledged that the last few weeks had been “challenging”. “The conversation surrounding Bud Light has moved away from beer,”he said, adding that he took responsibility for the controversy’s impact. When asked if he would run the campaign with a transgender influencer again, Whitworth didn’t directly respond.
The criticism comes as Republican state lawmakers are proposing legislation that seeks to regulate the lives of young transgender people, restrict drag shows and require schools to out transgender students to their parents. Wagner said Anheuser-Busch made a mistake when its marketing broke what he called “bar rules”. That means “no politics, no religion.”