You’d think that a massive backlash and boycott that cost your company billions of dollars would humble you enough to admit that maybe, just maybe, alienating your base customers, the target demographic for your product, was a terrible idea. However, the CEO of Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of Bud Light beer, is still refusing to admit that making a partnership with transgender social medial influencer Dylan Mulvaney was a terrible idea.
I mean, the deal led to the beer brand losing its top spot which it had seemingly enjoyed since time immemorial, which is a pretty clear sign you done messed up, right? Why not try to repair the damage by admitting partnering up with Mulvaney was a horrible idea and promise not to jump into the political arena ever again? Simple solution.
But for some odd reason, Brendan Whitworth, a veteran with the Marine Corp and former CIA employee feels the need to remain loyal to progressives and their agenda, even if doing so destroys his company. According to The Daily Wire, Whitworth made an appearance on the CBS program, “This Morning,” where he referred to the backlash his company received for the partnership as “divisive.”
“Bars, restaurants, and retail stores have reported the thirst for Bud Light bottomed out in April after Mulvaney released a TikTok video showing the custom can while celebrating 365 days of ‘being a woman.’ Although the company later told reeling wholesalers only one such can was printed, the brand’s sales have fallen by as much as 25% with no sign of a recovery brewing,” the report said.
“I think the conversation surrounding Bud Light has moved away from beer and the conversation has become divisive,” Whitworth stated during the interview. “Bud Light really doesn’t belong there; Bud Light should be about bringing people together.”
When the CEO was asked what the company’s intentions were in sending beer cans to transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney with his photo on them, he went on to repeat the statement released by the company back in May, saying, “It was a gift and it was one can.”
The follow-up question that was asked by show co-host Tony Dokoupil was probably the most important one posed to Whitworth during the interview, which was, “Knowing what you know now, if you go back, would you send a can to this one person again?”
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“There’s a big social conversation taking place right now and big brands are right in the middle of it,” Whitworth said in response. “And it’s not just our industry or Bud Light. It’s happening in retail, it’s happening in fast food. And so, for us, what we need to understand is — deeply understand and appreciate — is the consumer, and what they want, what they care about, and what they expect from big brands.”
“Where are you on the issue? Was this a mistake?” Dokoupil continued to press.
“Bud Light has supported LGBTQ since 1998, so that’s 25 years,” he added. “And as we’ve said from the beginning, we’ll continue to support the communities and organizations that we’ve supported for decades. But as we move forward, we want to focus on what we do best, which is brewing great beer for everyone, listening to our consumers, being humble in listening to them, making sure we do right by our employees, take care and support our partners, and ultimately make an impact in the communities that we serve.”
The beer company’s CEO repeatedly stated that his workers take “pride” in being employees for the brand.
It’s hard to really tell just how much damage the campaign and the subsequent boycott have done to Anheuser-Busch’s bottom line, as it produces several extremely popular brands of beer. This very question is one that Whitworth promptly danced around.
“We’re focusing on investing behind the brand right now,” he stated.
Whitworth tried to end the interview with a bit of patriotism, saying,“It really is, as I mentioned, an American institution, and it’s really, to me, one degree of separation from the American flag.”
In response to recent controversy, @AnheuserBusch CEO Brendan Whitworth tells CBS Mornings that his company will continue to support the LGBTQ community.
He did not directly answer the questions of whether the promotional campaign with a transgender influencer was a mistake. pic.twitter.com/19PXJQkoem
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) June 28, 2023