Saturday, 29 July 2023

The Mulvaney Effect: Anheuser-Busch Laying Off Hundreds Of Employees

 Anheuser-Busch InBev, whose sales have plummeted since April after their marketing campaign with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney for Bud Light hit a colossal nerve among conservatives, is laying off hundreds of employees.

Anheuser-Busch acknowledged roughly 380 workers — 2% of the 19,000 employees “across every corporate function”— will be released. In the month ending July 15, Bud Light’s U.S. sales nose-dived 26.5%.

“While we never take these decisions lightly, we want to ensure that our organization continues to be set for future long-term success,” Anheuser-Busch Chief Executive Brendan Whitworth stated. “These corporate structure changes will enable our teams to focus on what we do best — brewing great beer for everyone.”

Bars, restaurants, and retail stores have reported the thirst for Bud Light bottomed out in April after Mulvaney released a TikTok video showing the custom can while celebrating 365 days of “being a woman.”

In late June, Whitworth appeared Wednesday CBS “This Morning,” where he called the backlash “divisive.”

“I think the conversation surrounding Bud Light has moved away from beer and the conversation has become divisive,” Whitworth said. “Bud Light really doesn’t belong there; Bud Light should be about bringing people together.”

Asked what the intention of the company was in sending Mulvaney the can of beer emblazoned with his picture, Whitworth reiterated the company’s statement from early May, declaring, “It was a gift and it was one can.”

Then came the crucial question: co-host Tony Dokoupil asked, “Knowing what you know now if you go back, would you send a can to this one person again?”

“There’s a big social conversation taking place right now and big brands are right in the middle of it,” Whitworth replied. “And it’s not just our industry or Bud Light. It’s happening in retail, it’s happening in fast food. And so, for us, what we need to understand is — deeply understand and appreciate — is the consumer, and what they want, what they care about, and what they expect from big brands.”

“Where are you on the issue? Was this a mistake?” Dokoupil pressed.

Again, Whitworth ducked the question.

“Bud Light has supported LGBTQ since 1998, so that’s 25 years,” he said. “And as we’ve said from the beginning, we’ll continue to support the communities and organizations that we’ve supported for decades. But as we move forward, we want to focus on what we do best, which is brewing great beer for everyone, listening to our consumers, being humble in listening to them, making sure we do right by our employees, take care and support our partners, and ultimately make an impact in the communities that we serve.”

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