It’s been three months since the conservative-led boycott of Bud Light went viral on social media.
The company responded with statement after statement before eventually just giving away free beer.
And the damage inflicted on Bud Light shows the true power of the conservative movement.
Bud Light CEO recognizes the Mulvaney debacle was a “mistake” – but it might be too late
Bud Light enraged its customer base in April when the beer entered into a partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. Bud Light sent him a specially designed can that celebrated his 365 days of girlhood, which had already faced enormous scrutiny on social media.
The company initially stood behind its decision by claiming it was trying to breathe new life into the beer’s image through the partnership with Mulvaney. However, after celebrities started denouncing the brand online, the marketing executive, who steered the campaign, was placed on paid leave.
At the end of June, CEO Brendan Whitworth was still trying to cover his tracks and recover the brand’s image. During an appearance on CBS, he called the decision to enter into a partnership with Mulvaney a “mistake.”
But now a major development in the story shows just how big of a mistake it was.
Over 600 jobs lost at bottling plants following “slow sales with Anheuser Inbev”
One of Bud Light’s largest partners, the Ardagh Group, showed the profound impact of the boycott this week when it announced the closure of two bottling plants. The company is responsible for making Budweiser bottles around the world, and according to employees of the company, it’s feeling the heat.
Ardagh is closing plants in North Carolina and Louisiana, putting approximately 650 people out of jobs during what is normally a busy beer season. According to local news WRAL in North Carolina, the group said that it was part of a “multi-year performance optimization program.”
But WRAL obtained a memo from May that said it would be shutting down two of the production lines in the plant “due to slow sales with Anheuser Inbev.” One machine mechanic told them that “because of Budweiser no longer selling the bottle, they no longer need our product.”
Former President of Anheuser-Busch calls for Whitworth’s resignation
Leadership at Bud Light has been unapologetic since the controversy began, as the biggest admission the CEO has issued was that it was a “mistake” to partner with Mulvaney. The former President of the brand said it’s time for management to step up and do what’s right.
In an op-ed for the Daily Mail, Anson Frericks described the move as a “bungle” that has sacrificed “countless jobs and invested assets in the process.” He said leadership “must take responsibility” for the mistakes that they have made.
He specifically named Whitworth, who he “worked with” for “many years at Anheuser-Busch. He said despite their “good relationship,” it was time for “the board of Anheuser-Busch to ask Whitworth to step down.”
Patriot Political will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.