Bud Light Sales Drop After Dylan Mulvaney Controversy

Bud Light Sales Drop After Dylan Mulvaney Controversy

Sales of Anheuser-Busch’s Bud Light have been declining since the brand partnered with, and then dropped, transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.

During the week which ended on April 15, in-store sales were down 17% to $78.2 million, compared with the same week one year ago, according to data from Bump Williams Consulting, shared with Brand Innovators. That decline dropped further to 21.4% for the week ending April 22, when Bud Light sales totaled $73.4 million. 

Last month, Bud Light revealed a partnership with Mulvaney as part of its March Madness campaign. As part of the effort, Mulvaney shared a video on their Instagram account to promote a Bud Light March Madness contest. In their post, they shared an image of a can of Bud Light with their face on it, that the beer brand had sent. The idea behind the campaign was to appeal to a younger audience with a more inclusive effort. 

After the campaign dropped, calls to boycott the brand from conservative groups began to surface on social media.

Brendan Whitworth, chief executive officer of Anheuser-Busch, responded with a statement, “We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people. We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer.”

And two executives that worked on the campaign – Alissa Heinerscheid, vice president of marketing at Bud Light and Daniel Blake, Budweiser’s group vice president for marketing – have taken a leave of absence. 

Mulvaney responded with a video statement, saying that they had been harassed online in response to the partnership. “Dehumanization has never fixed anything in history ever,” they added.

Some in the industry have criticized the brand, citing a failure to stand up by their allegiance with the LGBTQ+ community and double down on their brand values.

Competing beer brand Coors Light and Miller Lite saw increased sales during the two weeks, according to the metrics shared by Bump William Consulting.