Bud Light sales have fallen a ‘staggering’ 17% since Dylan Mulvaney debacle rocked nation’s favorite beer
- Bud Light angered customers by partnering with the transgender influencer
- Two senior executives at parent company Anheuser-Busch have gone on leave
- When the campaign launched, $6 billion was knocked off the company’s value
Bud Light has been hit by a huge 17 percent fall in sales in the three weeks since disastrous paid partnership with Dylan Mulvaney paralyzed the brand.
According to an industry research firm, volume also dropped a huge 21 percent in the week ended April 15.
The latest sales data from NielsenIQ and Bump Williams Consulting shows a sharp fall from the week before, where sales plunged 6 percent, the New York Post reported.
It comes as another senior executive at Anheuser-Busch has been placed on leave in the wake of the anger over the controversial partnership.
Daniel Blake, who is the Anheuser-Busch vice president for mainstream brands, has stepped back from his job just days after Bud Light’s VP of marketing Alissa Heinerscheid took a leave of absence.
Mulvaney (left) was sent a personalized beer can to mark 365 days since she transitioned. Mulvaney documented her journey on TikTok and gained millions of online followers
Alissa Heinerscheid, the brand’s vice president of marketing, has taken a leave of absence, according to a report on Friday
Daniel Blake, who is the vice president for Anheuser-Busch’s mainstream brands has stepped back from his job, after controversy about Bud Light’s partnership with Dylan Mulvaney
Heinerscheid had been hired to overhaul Bud Light’s marketing in June 2022 with the idea of freshening up its image.
The firm said both bosses ‘decided’ to temporarily step down, but their decisions were reportedly not voluntary.
‘Given the circumstances, Alissa has decided to take a leave of absence which we support. Daniel has also decided to take a leave of absence,’ the company said.
Blake is a nine-year veteran of Anheuser-Busch and oversaw marketing for both Bud Light and Budweiser.
A replacement wasn’t immediately announced. Heinerscheid’s job was taken over by Todd Allen, who recently served as global vice president of Budweiser.
Blake, who is based in New York, was promoted to group vice president of Anheuser-Busch’s mainstream brands in May 2022, according to his LinkedIn page. Before that, he was group VP of marketing for Budweiser and value brands.
Mulvaney, 26, announced the partnership in a series of videos posted to social media at the start of April 2023 to coincide with the NCAA March Madness tournament.
In the six days that followed, Anheuser-Busch lost more than $6billion in market capitalization.
The campaign has been polarizing – with some famous faces boycotting the company, while others have leapt to Mulvaney’s defense.
Singer Kid Rock posted a video online of him angrily shooting at several cases of Bud Light in protest over the campaign.
The pro-Trump singer, 52, said after shooting the cans: ‘F*** Bud Light, and f*** Anheuser-Busch. Have a terrific day.’
Country singer Travis Tritt also said he had removed all Anheuser-Busch products from his tour bus over the partnership.
However fellow country singers Sheryl Crow and Zach Bryan lambasted Tritt for his comments.
Mulvaney, 26, announced the partnership in a series of videos posted to social media at the start of April 2023
Whitworth issued a public statement two weeks into the controversy
In the turmoil that ensued after the announcement of the collaboration, Anheuser-Busch issued a statement. It said it supported the brand’s decision to work with Mulvaney, whose videos follow her journey.
‘Anheuser-Busch works with hundreds of influencers across our brands as one of many ways to authentically connect with audiences across various demographics,’ the rep said.
It added: ‘From time to time, we produce unique commemorative cans for fans and for brand influencers, like Mulvaney. This commemorative can was a gift to celebrate a personal milestone and is not for sale to the general public.’
The company then released a patriotic new advertisement for Budweiser featuring its iconic Clydesdale horses, in an apparent attempt to reset following the controversy.
The one-minute spot features shots of the iconic Clydesdales galloping across the country, in open fields, and past landmarks including the Lincoln Memorial and the New York City skyline.
However, online users slammed the ad as a pathetic attempt to right the ship that was permanently sent in the wrong direction with the Mulvaney partnership.
On April 14, CEO Brendan Whitworth delivered an apology.
‘We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people. We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer,’ he said in a statement.
He added: ‘My time serving this country taught me the importance of accountability and the values upon which America was founded: freedom, hard work and respect from one another.’
‘I care deeply about this country, this company, our brands and our partners,’ he added.
‘I spend much of my time traveling across America, listening to and learning from our customers, distributors and others. Moving forward I will continue to work tirelessly to bring great beers to consumers across our nation.’
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