Bud Light Buys Back Expired Beer From Wholesalers After Dylan Mulvaney Controversy

Bud Light Buys Back Expired Beer From Wholesalers After Dylan Mulvaney Controversy

News by Anja PaspaljAnja Paspalj
Published: May 24, 2023

Bud Light continues to face struggles following the brand’s controversial collaboration with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney
Its parent company, Anheuser-Busch has announced that it will buy back unsold and expired Bud Lights from its wholesalers due to decreased sales following the PR scandal.  

After Mulvaney shared an Instagram post thanking Bud Light for a package of personalized cans with her image on them to celebrate one year since the beginning of her gender transition, backlash was harsh and swift.  

Branded as a traditional American beverage beer company, Bud Light was heavily criticized for the collaboration by conservatives.  

The backlash went so far as to result in bomb threats at “multiple Anheuser-Busch facilities and wholesaler locations,” according to a report in The Wall Street Journaldetailing the scandal. 

Efforts were made to remedy the PR crisis, but Bud Light’s core customer base, comprising long-term consumers, proved less receptive to these efforts. 

The beer brand’s strategy with Mulvaney served as an attempt to communicate with new target audiences, but this approach also fell flat.  

Anheuser-Busch's CEO Michel Doukeris has even insisted on downplaying the collaboration with Mulvaney by commenting on the spreading of misinformation online, claiming that there was no organized social media campaign with the TikTok star and attributing the collaboration to a third-party agency. 

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Additionally, Bud Light’s marketing vice president Alissa Heinerscheid and Daniel Blake, who oversees marketing for Anheuser-Busch brands, both took a leave of absence following the backlash. 

However, Bud Light’s retail sales in the U.S. have continued to fall. Compared to last year, sales have currently decreased by 23.6%, with consumers boycotting buying the brand.  

Despite ongoing attempts by the company to win back its consumers, it seems like Bud Light’s ongoing scandal may be harder to remedy than expected.  

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