A new ad campaign by Bud Light appears to show that the beer giant is not out of the metaphorical woods yet. The ad received significant criticism online in the latest evidence that the beverage brand faces sustained backlash for its April announcement of a partnership with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney.
The new ad included a number of summer themes and represents one of the few forays the brand has attempted in the last three months. The beer had only posted on its Twitter account once prior since the controversy began, to a flood of negative comments.
“Crack a cold one: we’ve got an epic summer ahead,” Bud Light posted on its Twitter page. “Sock tans included.”
The post represents the brand’s second post in two months. As of Thursday, it received about 1,300 likes and almost 19,000 comments.
The beer brand announced in the spring that it would be spending significantly on marketing.
Get ready for a summer filled with Bud Light, including crazy rebates, NFL stars pushing the beer, and endless ads.
The newest commercial debuted today, and it's a doozy. https://t.co/eNkkB53lM7
— OutKick (@Outkick) June 22, 2023
The beer company has faced a boycott from consumers after announcing the partnership with Mulvaney, which included a custom can with the influencer’s face on it.
Anheuser-Busch wrote to distributors, stating that the promotion was “one single can given to one social media influencer.”
It added that the can was “not made for production or sale to the general public.”
The abandonment of the Mulvaney marketing push also received considerable criticism from a number of gay bars. Establishments in Illinois and Minnesota announced that they would be dropping Anheuser-Busch products for not showing enough support for the LGBT community.
Anheuser-Busch brands faced a sharp decrease in sales. Bud Light in particular suffered about a 25% decline in sales following the announcement of the partnership. Furthermore, even brands such as Budweiser faced declines of about 10%.
The controversy has significantly affected the stock price of Anheuser Busch InBev, which lost about $27 billion in stock value.
Following the boycott, Bud Light lost its position as the most-sold beer brand in the United States. It was overtaken by Modelo Especial.