Anheuser-Busch launched a new marketing campaign Wednesday, the same day CEO Brendan Whitworth went on national television and declined to say whether it was a mistake to partner with a transgender star to promote Bud Light.
In an interview on CBS Mornings, Whitworth said the conversation around Bud Light has “moved away from beer” in the weeks since transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney posted a video promoting the brand in April. Bud Light sales have plummeted after individuals offended by the partnership called for a boycott in protest. In May, Modelo overtook AB beer for the most sold spot.
Months after the video, the company continues to face questions about where the beer maker stands on LGBTQ+ rights. Whitworth said Bud Light has become part of a divisive conversation, one in which Bud Light does not belong.
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When asked if sending a personal box to Mulvaney was a mistake, the CEO referenced the company̵[ads1]7;s past 25 years of supporting the LGBTQ+ community.
“We will continue to support the communities and organizations that we have 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 and listen to them, ensure we do right by our employees, care for and support our partners and ultimately make an impact in the community we serve,” Whitworth said.
Whitworth said the company is tripling its investment in Bud Light this year, with summer advertising campaigns and events, in addition to the upcoming NFL season.
The latest ad campaign, “That’s who we are”, showcases a range of local workers dedicated to making and distributing AB beer.
More than 140 AB employees, growers, wholesalers and partners helped create the ad, which highlights communities such as St. Louis, Houston and Parma, Idaho.