Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of Bud Light, has suffered a loss of more than $5 billion since it announced its partnership with Dylan Mulvaney, a controversial transgender social media influencer.
Mulvaney — a trans-identified male — was featured on a limited release Bud Light can. Mulvaney promoted the brand in a series of social media posts and videos. One especially viral video featured Mulvaney sitting in a bubble bath, surrounded by Bud Light cans.
Since the announcement on March 31, Anheuser-Busch’s shares have fallen by nearly 4%, with the company’s market capitalization dropping from $132.38 billion to $127.13 billion on Wednesday. The company’s shares fell by more than 1.5% on Wednesday alone.
On 3/31, @AnheuserBusch had a $132.38 billion market cap
As of 4/12, it’s now $125.73 billion
This means the Bud Light Boycott has shaved off *$6.65 BILLION* in company value
The bleeding hasn’t stopped
On the contrary, it’s only getting worse pic.twitter.com/i9JxtIj1eC
— Raw7s (@thrillfly7s) April 13, 2023
The deal with Mulvaney, a 26-year-old transgender influencer with more than 10 million followers on social media, has caused an uproar among conservatives and beer-drinkers alike.
“This month I celebrated my day 365 of womanhood and Bud Light sent me possibly the best gift ever — a can with my face on it,” Mulvaney said in the collaboration announcement video.
This partnership has resulted in a nationwide backlash against the brand. Sales have taken a significant hit and shares continue to fall.
Bud Light distributors, including bars across the country, have either dropped the brand or noticed an enormous decrease in sales. The owner of Case & Bucks in Missouri, for example, said his Bud Light sales dropped by “roughly 40 percent.”
The controversy has also led to a boycott of other Anheuser-Busch products, which include Budweiser, Stella Artois, Michelob Ultra, and Busch Beer. With this in mind, industry experts have said that this fallout could have staying power.
Despite the blow back, Anheuser-Busch has defended the partnership with Dylan Mulvaney. In a statement to Fox News, an Anheuser-Busch spokesperson said, “From time to time we produce unique commemorative cans for fans and for brand influencers, like Dylan Mulvaney. This commemorative can was a gift to celebrate a personal milestone and is not for sale to the general public”
The “personal milestone” to which they are referring is Mulvaney’s “365th” day of “being a woman.”
Mulvaney has responded to the backlash by accusing critics of “bullying.”
The social media star has worked with other notable brands in the past, such as Nike and Kate Spade. These partnerships have also resulted in backlash, but not to the degree experienced by Bud Light.