Anheuser-Busch CEO Hedges On Mulvaney Partnership

The CEO of Bud Light’s parent company had little substantive to say regarding the public backlash that followed the beer brand’s April partnership with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney. He described the company as having faced “a challenging few weeks.”

Brendan Whitworth appeared on the program “CBS Mornings” this week, in which he was asked about the controversy. 

“I think the conversation surrounding Bud Light has moved away from beer, and the conversation has become divisive,” he said. “And Bud Light really doesn’t belong there.”

Instead, the corporate official said that the brand “should be all about bringing people together.”

He said that there’s been “an impact on the business, and I think that’s publicly covered on Bud Light specifically.”

When asked about the goal of the marketing agreement, Whitworth hedged, stating that the promotion showed by Mulvaney was just “one can.”

The CEO said that the company has to understand “the impact” that the boycott has had including on employees, consumers and Anheuser-Busch’s partners. 

“One thing I’d love to make extremely clear is that impact is my responsibility and as the CEO, everything we do here I’m accountable for,” he said.

The interview comes on the heels of reports that Anheuser-Busch fired the marketing executives responsible for the Mulvaney campaign. The beer giant currently denies these reports.

The company recently announced a $15 rebate package for buying Bud Light in advance of the July 4th holiday.

Recent data shows that the company suffered its largest weekly drop in sales earlier this month.  Bud Light’s sales declined by almost 30%, which exceeded the previous high of 26.8%. 

This marks three consecutive weeks of worsening brand sales. 

Furthermore, the boycott against Bud Light is affecting other Anheuser-Busch products, with Budweiser’s sales down more than 12%, while Michelob Ultra is down by about 4%.

Bud Light recently lost its position as the most-sold beer in the United States to Modelo Especial, which saw an almost 9% increase in sales earlier this month. 

Other Bud Light competitors have seen a significant spike in sales, including Miller Lite, Coors Lite and Yuengling Lager.