Breaking Update: Anheuser-Busch Claims Controversy Over Transgender Influencer Was “Overblown”
Anheuser-Busch has sent a letter to its wholesalers, stating that the controversy over a transgender influencer’s TikTok video with a can of Bud Light was taken out of proportion. The letter explains that the can was a one-time promotional item given to the influencer and was not intended for sale or production. The letter sent to wholesalers of Bud Light states:
“This was one single can given to one social media influencer… It was not made for production or sale to the general public. This can is not a formal campaign or advertisement.”
The controversy has caused sales of Bud Light to plummet, as off-premises sales fell by 26% by April 22.
According to the Daily Wire, the St. Louis Dispatch reported that Robert Lachky, the former chief creative officer at Anheuser-Busch, claimed that the company has “alienated at least half of your target audience,” and the letter goes on to state:
“The minute you step into the political or religious spectrum, when you know your target audience is going to have a real issue with this, you know you’ve alienated at least half of your target audience. In the end, people don’t like getting preached to, especially when it comes to drinking beer.”
Anheuser-Busch Offers Free Beer to Wholesaler Employees After Controversy
According to the Daily Mail and multiple other outlets, as a way to beg for forgiveness for the controversy surrounding a transgender influencer’s TikTok video featuring a can of Bud Light, Anheuser-Busch is offering a free case of beer to every employee of its wholesaler network. News of the decision broke this week, as this offer comes in the wake of a significant decline in Bud Light sales following a right-wing boycott that has been considered the most successful in recent years.
Bud Light Sales Drop Following Controversy and Boycott
Due to a recent controversy with a transgender influencer, Anheuser-Busch is offering a free case of beer to all employees of its wholesaler network, which has suffered from a boycott following the PR stunt. However, some experts have criticized the company’s marketing strategy and lack of understanding of American consumers.
Bud Light sales have declined for the third consecutive week in April 2023, with off-premises sales falling by 26% in the week ending April 22, according to Beer Business Daily. Sales of other beer brands have risen by a similar amount compared to the same period last year. Furthermore, sales revenue decreased by 17% in the weeks prior, with beer sales volume contracting by 11% in the week ending April 8 and 21% in the week ending April 15. Many Americans are frustrated with big brands promoting left-wing and gender ideology through their products.
Impact on the Brand
The Bud Light boycott has had a prolonged negative impact on the company, with many accusing it of alienating its traditional customer base. At a rally in Iowa, supporters of Kari Lake, the GOP candidate for Arizona Governor in 2022, refused to drink the beer, and a bar owner in Kentucky claimed the drink sparked arguments between patrons. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, along with multiple other Republican lawmakers also joined the boycotting efforts. Country music star Kid Rock along with multiple other musicians and celebrities also boycotted the Bud Light as a result.
Since the controversy began, Bud Light and its parent company, Anheuser-Busch, have made few public interventions, and two top marketing executives have taken a leave of absence. Their memo on Twitter, where they gave a soft apology, did little to ease the situation. The boycott by some customers has been described as the most successful in history, and conservatives have hailed it as a win for their cause.
The boycott by some customers has been described as the most successful in history, and conservatives have hailed it as a win for their cause.