For the fifth week in a row, Bud Light has reported a drop in sales, and according to one former Anheuser-Busch executive, there are no signs that the beer bashing will abate anytime soon.
The uproar over Bud Light’s tone-deaf partnership with TikTok trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney will, in fact, likely “drag on,” Anson Frericks said on Fox Business’s Friday broadcast of “Varney & Co.”
“Consumers feel like they’re having an impact,” the former Anheuser-Busch executive said. “And every single week these sales numbers are being reported, and they’re getting worse and worse every single week. So I see this continuing to drag on until Bud Light makes a comment about what they stand for and what customers they’re going to serve.”
Angry consumers should feel empowered. The devastation to the iconic beer brand has been a staggering example of the “go woke, go broke” conservative mantra.
As American Wire News reported, they apparently can’t even give the stuff away.
A photo surfaced on social media of dusty stacks of 24-can Bud Light cases boasting a desperate vendor’s rebate: Scan the QR code and, after paying $19.98 for the beer, you’ll receive a $20 rebate.
Bud Light reamed for rebate that basically gives beer away for free: 'Damn, they're done'https://t.co/X3HcC6LBU7
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) May 18, 2023
“I’ve been sober for almost a decade, so I’m not sure on this, but ain’t a case like $20 most places?” tweeted former heavyweight boxer Ed Latimore. “Things can’t be going great if they’re basically giving it away.”
The outlandish ad featuring Mulvaney aired on April Fool’s Day, leading many to initially wonder if it was a bad joke. Nearly two months later, it’s safe to say that no one at Bud Light is laughing.
“Nationwide retail sales of the brand were down 23.6% versus a year ago in the week ending May 6 — its fifth straight week of declines, according to Bump Williams Consulting and NielsenIQ data,” the New York Post reported.
The ill-conceived celebration of Mulvaney’s “365 Days of Girlhood” has spilled over to other Anheuser-Busch brands.
“Those included Budweiser, down 9.7% versus an 11.4% drop a week earlier; Michelob Ultra, down 2.9% versus 4.3%; and Natural Light, down 2.5% versus 5.2% the previous week,” according to The Post.
Even the Budweiser Clydesdales couldn’t pull the company out of its tailspin. The majestic creatures were trotted out in a patriotic ad that fell flat weeks after the backlash began.
Budweiser trots out patriotic Clydesdales to save company, but damage control adds insult https://t.co/b2mDivCq1w pic.twitter.com/MVwFNA9yLO
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) April 18, 2023
“Brewed for those who found opportunity in challenge and hope in tomorrow,” the narrator said as a Clydesdale galloped past the Lincoln Memorial and into a country setting with two men, presumably a father and son, sharing bottles of beer on a porch. The scene then shifted to the New York City skyline.
“This is a story bigger than beer,” the narrator states. “This is the story of the American spirit.”
As it turns out, it actually is the story of the American spirit — just not in the way Bud Light suggested.
Consumers rejected the pro-American olive branch and drank other beers, proving that average citizens can make their voices heard.
If Bud Light wants to stop the boycott, Frericks said, the company is going to have to dig deeper.
“One thing that they haven’t done is say they made a mistake with this campaign and been clear about who they’re going to serve moving forward,” he said on Friday. “Is it going to be their shareholders and their customers who want them just to create a Bud Light that’s apolitical, or are they going to be serving their stakeholders? These are the people that want BlackRock, State Street, Vanguard, who are asking them to serve political organizations, activists.”
“I think until they’re clear and they make it clear that they want to serve their customers moving forward,” Frericks added, “unfortunately, I don’t see this going away.”
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