Bud Light’s Dylan Mulvaney fiasco results in shut down of bottling plants, employees say

The Bud Light fiasco involving Dylan Mulvaney, a 26-year-old biological male who fancies being a young girl, has been crippling to the brand’s popularity and the fallout is so severe that it appears to be impacting Anheuser-Busch suppliers down the chain.

The Ardagh Group, a glass bottling company that contracts with the Anheuser-Busch company, has announced that it will close plants in North Carolina and Louisiana this month, resulting in about 645 employees being put out of work, WRAL reported.

The Raleigh-based affiliate cited documents it had obtained showing a drop in Bud Light sales forced a North Carolina glass plant to cut down bottle production starting in May — the statement announcing the plants’ closures did not give a reason, other than explaining that it was part of a “Multi-year Performance Optimization Program.”

A May 18 internal memo from the N.C. plant manager referenced “slow sales with Anheuser Inbev” in announcing that two of the factory’s production lines would be shutting down, according to WRAL.

Employees at the plant said making bottles for Budweiser and Bud Light, which has lost billions of dollars in market value, was a big part of their business.

“Since April, we’ve had a couple of machines down,” journeyman machine repair mechanic James Munhall told WRAL. “It was, of course, being pointed towards the Bud Light situation.”

Employees who attended a meeting at the glass plant last week said the plant manager told them that the Bud Light boycott was forcing them to shut down.

“Because of Budweiser no longer selling the bottles, they no longer needed our product,” machine repair mechanic David Williams said.

It’s been more than three months since Bud Light associated with Mulvaney and sales continue to slide as a result of the ensuing boycott. Fox Business cited NiselsenIQ data to report that brand sales were down 24.4% compared to a year ago for the week ending June 3, noting that this comes despite efforts to counter the backlash, which includes heavy discounts and rebates that make Bud Light “basically free to the consumers” in some markets.

Over the weekend, former company president Anson Frericks called on Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth to resign over the Bud Light fiasco.

“Whitworth has clearly shown himself to be incapable of solving the Mulvaney crisis,” Frericks wrote in a column for the Daily Mail published on Saturday. “He’s had multiple chances and he’s failed. It’s time he did the right thing and stepped aside to make way for someone capable of righting the sinking Bud Light ship.”

As for whether the brand has learned a lesson, just last week Bud Light sponsored a raunchy Toronto Pride parade featuring naked men.


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