Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth did not rule out the possibility of collaborating with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney again despite the partnership leading to a massive backlash and causing a loss of $20 billion in market cap.
Whitworth refrained from sharing the exact cost of the marketing misstep on Bud Light while appearing on CBS Mornings.
CEO’s vague stance on Mulvaney sparks backlash
When questioned about working with Mulvaney again, the CEO remained non-committal, emphasizing the necessity to comprehend and respect the consumer’s desires.
He spoke about the socially pertinent discussion spurred by the campaign blunder, although his ambiguous responses drew criticism, social media users accusing him of performing a ‘dismal job.’
Dokoupil probes Whitworth over Bud Light’s sales drop
Tony Dokoupil of CBS Mornings questioned Whitworth’s evasive attitude and whether the collaboration was an error, considering Bud Light’s sales plummeted by an alarming 28.5 percent.
Whitworth continued to sidestep the issue, stating, “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 that we do right by our employees, take care and support our partners, and ultimately make an impact in the communities that we serve,” he added.
Whitworth admits responsibility for ‘corporate actions’
He stressed that Bud Light must avoid the controversial discourse surrounding the marketing decision, asserting that it had deviated from beer.
Whitworth acknowledged his responsibility towards the impact on the employees, insisting on his accountability for all corporate actions.
Bud Light sales nosedive, sparks calls for new ‘comms team’
Many consumers took to social media post-interview, suggesting a ‘new comms team.’
Bud Light witnessed a sharp 28.5 percent dip in sales during the week ending June 17, one of the most severe since the campaign’s initiation in April.
This was even lower than the 26.8 percent drop reported for the week ending June 10, as per Bump Williams Consulting and NielsenIQ.
Bud Light Execs on voluntary leave amid termination rumors
Claims circulated about the dismissal of two Bud Light marketing executives over the debacle, although the company denied these rumors.
Alissa Heinerscheid, 39, VP of marketing, and Daniel Blake, 34, VP of Mainstream Brands, opted for voluntary leave following the backlash.
Insiders informed the Daily Caller about their official termination after they decided to step back in April.
Bud Light loses long-held status to Modelo Especial
Amidst these challenges, Bud Light has lost its status as America’s top-selling beer to Modelo Especial after holding the crown for 22 years.
The brand’s sales of $297 million represent a 22.8 percent sales decline compared to the previous year.
Bud Light’s two-decade reign ends, loses top position in 2023
This marks the first time since 2001 that Bud Light hasn’t clinched the top position, having dethroned Budweiser for the ‘King of Beer’ title that year.
Notably, Modelo’s US sales are managed by rival Constellation Brands, thus not included in AB InBev’s global volumes due to an anti-trust settlement.