This week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) called for an investigation into Bud Light regarding its partnership with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney and the resulting consumer backlash. The 2024 Republican candidate seeks to determine whether or not the beer’s parent company Anheuser-Busch may have disregarded its shareholders’ interests.
The governor ordered an investigation into the company’s actions, saying that “AB InBev may have breached legal duties owed to its shareholders, and that a shareholder action may be both appropriate and necessary.”
In particular, the governor cited the state of Florida’s pension investment in the company. DeSantis said that in order to protect the pension plan and “retirees of Florida from losses attributable to AB InBev’s disregard of those duties, all options are on the table.”
The state currently holds more than $50 million in Anheuser-Busch stock, he said.
“It has absolutely hurt teachers, it has absolutely hurt other pensioners,” DeSantis said.
The governor said that the brand had failed to “remediate the problem and repair its relationship with millions of disaffected American consumers.”
The governor’s comments come as Bud Light’s sales skid continues into July.
We’ve kneecapped ESG in Florida.
So I’m calling for an investigation into AB InBev’s actions regarding their Bud Light marketing campaign and falling stock prices.
All options are on the table and woke corporations that put ideology ahead of returns should be on notice. pic.twitter.com/B3frLY4f30
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) July 21, 2023
Recent sales data shows that the brand’s sales from April to early July fell more than 27%, while its competitors saw significant gains. All Bud Light-related products saw an almost 30% dip in sales volume during that period. Furthermore, other Anheuser-Busch brands such as Budweiser and Busch Light also saw a significant decline.
Overall Anheuser-Busch sales fell by more than 15% during the same period.
The controversy surrounding Bud Light began Apr. 1 when the company announced a partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. The activist showed a custom can with Mulvaney’s visage on the can and drank the beverage.
The ongoing boycott does not appear to show any signs of slowing. Bud Light lost its title as the best-selling beer brand in the country to Modelo Especial.
Modelo saw its brand increase sales by 11% during the same period and its parent company Constellation saw an increase in its stock price. Constellation Brands’ stock reached an all-time high this week.