The CEO of the “inclusive” AB InBev blamed “misinformation” on social media for stoking a nationwide boycott of Bud Light following the brewer’s move to promote the beer with TikTok trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
People often talk about this topic in social media like noise… You have one fact and every person puts an opinion behind the fact. And then the opinions start to be replicated fast on each and every comment. By the time that 10 or 20 people put a comment out there, the reality is no longer what the fact is, but is more [about] what the comments were,” chief executive Michel Doukeris told the Financial Times.
Instead of taking the blame for the company’s catastrophic attempt to virtue signal, even if it means alienating the vast majority of its clients, Doukeris instead blamed online “misinformation and confusion”, including reports that Mulvaney’s Bud Light can is “a production can and every can would be like the one that was in that post . . . We never intended to make it for general production and sale for the public.” Well, that’s just a brilliant way for InBev to also alienate the progressives after scrambling to distance itself from the entire fiasco.
He said others thought it was a Bud Light campaign while “it was not: it was one post. It was not an advertisement.” Narrator: it was.
Dylan Mulvaney has become the new brand ambassador for Bud Light. 🍺
The beer brand even made a special edition Dylan Mulvaney Can 🥤celebrating his 365 days of girlhood.
(This is not April Fools, it’s actually real)
— Oli London (@OliLondonTV) April 1, 2023
Doukeris was furious about videos of billboards with images of the Bud Light can inserted “electronically” and “10mn people [were] watching it and commenting . . . That had nothing to do with Bud Light, it was just like pure social media creation.”
Last Thursday, Doukeris said in an earnings call that Bud Light’s decline in US sales for the first three weeks of April accounted for 1% of the brewer’s global volumes. He did not comment on potential full-year impacts, indicating it was “too early to have a full view.”
The latest data from Bump Williams Consulting based on Nielsen IQ data show boycotts of Bud Light collapsed sales by 26% from a year ago for the week ending on April 22.
Bud Light executives have been desperately scrambling to restore the brand’s image by accelerating the production of new ads, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Meanwhile, sales of rival brands Coors Light and Miller Light each grew 21% during the same period ending April 22.
Bud Light is now facing boycotts from both ends of the political spectrum as LGBTQ bars are displeased with the brewer’s lack of support for Mulvaney.