Analysis: Miller Lite Follows Bud Light Into Culture War

In the wake of the Bud Light boycott after its marketing partnership with a transgender activist, Miller Lite may have made a similar error with consumers due to a feminist-themed ad campaign.

The beer maker partnered with comedian Ilana Glazer for an ad revolving around Women’s History Month.

The ad referenced the “founding mothers of beer” and criticized beer companies such as Miller for “putting women in bikinis.” 

Using a number of obscenities, the comedian said that the brand was ready to “make it up to women.” 

The commercial poked fun at the idea of destroying old ads of scantily-clad women and turning the material into fertilizer.

Miller Lite’s parent company Molson Coors also wrote in an environmental, social and corporate governance statement that it was weighing gender roles in its business model. 

The corporation also stated that the company was providing employees and their families “gender-affirming treatment.” 

The company also stated that it was supporting a number of organizations “dedicated to social justice.”

Miller Lite’s new advertising campaign comes after significant backlash against Bud Light’s partnership with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney.

The company manufactured special cans with Mulvaney’s image on them, followed by posts on social media.

The damage to the beer’s reputation appears to be lasting.

So far, Bud Light’s parent company Anheuser-Busch reported a loss of 17% in sales compared to this time last year. Furthermore, Bud Light’s competitors have seen a corresponding increase in beer sales since.

The controversy has affected Bud Light so deeply that a former Anheuser-Busch official recently admitted that the boycott has largely worked.

According to former executive Anson Frericks, the beer brand’s former image as “inoffensive” has changed. 

He said that the beer company’s salvation may only come by “staying out of political issues.” 

Frericks said that the beer giant may have originally hoped that the consumer firestorm would “blow over.” 

However, the drop in sales shows that the boycotters are “witnessing their success in real time.”

“Anheuser-Busch cannot force the media storm to die down by starving it of data,” he said.