It’s been a catastrophic month for one of America’s leading beer brands, Bud Light, following one of the worst marketing decisions in the history of business.
In March, a marketing executive for the brand bashed its core customers as “fratty” and decided to partner with trans activist Dylan Mulvaney, sparking a furious backlash.
The Daily Mail wrote that “in the past, Mulvaney has been accused of ‘womanface’ by some feminists, who claim she is play-acting the parts of a woman she enjoys, with none of the misogyny faced by females on a day-to-day basis.”
The results, The New York Post notes, have been staggering. Sales of the brand have seen “an alarming 17% drop, according to an industry research firm.
The latest sales data from NielsenIQ and Bump Williams Consulting shows that Bud Light sales fell 17% in dollars, while volume dropped a whopping 21% in the week ended April 15.
That’s sharply ahead of the 6% drop in sales dollars and 11% drop in volume that Bud Light had suffered during the week ended April 8 — the seven days that immediately followed the April 1 launch of the controversial Mulvaney campaign on social media.
“These numbers are staggering,” according to an April 23 report from Insights Express, a beer-focused newsletter. “Right now this is an extremely difficult scenario for Anheuser Busch, the Bud Light brand and for AB distributors.”
In response to the crash and burning of one of its top products, Anheuser-Busch has decided to make changes. AP writes, “The marketing executive who oversaw a partnership between Bud Light and a transgender influencer is taking a leave of absence after it snowballed into cries for boycotts from some angry customers, according to media reports.
Alissa Heinerscheid, Bud Light’s vice president of marketing, will be replaced by Todd Allen, most recently global vice president of Budweiser, according to reports from Beer Business Daily and Ad Age.
A spokesperson for Bud Light’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch InBev, on Saturday did not directly confirm the leave of absence but said Allen as vice president of Bud Light will report directly to Benoit Garbe, U.S. chief marketing officer. The company also made streamlining changes so that its most senior marketers are more closely connected to all of its brand activities.”
Anheuser-Busch InBev’s stock price has fallen nearly two percent, billions in company value, since Mulvaney’s PR stunt on April 1.