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Anheuser-Busch is offering to buy unsold cases of Bud Light back from retailers as sales continue to crater in the aftermath of a brief but disastrous partnership with trans-identifying influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
The offer, reported by The Wall Street Journal, comes as boycotts continue to dog the brand in the wake of the controversial deal. Mulvaney raved in a TikTok video about a gift from Bud Light — a can featuring the trans-influencer’s face — and the partnership, which reportedly consisted of just the one can, sparked a boycott that caused sales of the beverage to plummet nearly overnight.
By mid-May, Bud Light sales were down 28% in comparison with 2022 sales numbers for the same time period — according to a Bump Williams analysis of Nielsen data — and several high-profile celebrities had thrown their weight behind a total boycott of the brand.
Musician Kid Rock shared a video of himself firing a gun at several cases of Bud Light, saying, “Grandpa’s feeling a little frisky today. Let me say something to all of you and be as clear and concise as possible. F*** Bud Light. And f*** Anheuser-Busch. Have a terrific day.”
Nashville bar owner and country music star John Rich revealed that customers had simply stopped buying Bud Light when they came into his establishment.
“I think the customers decide,” Rich said. “Customers are king. Our number one selling beer up until a few days ago was, guess what? Bud Light. That was the number one beer. We’ve got cases and cases and cases of it sitting back there.”
And while many politically motivated boycotts in the past have quickly lost steam or failed outright, Bud Light appears to be having trouble righting the ship.
The brand, which had already been slipping out of favor with the rise of hard seltzers and craft beers, had been trying to reach new audiences when the company hired Alissa Heinerscheid — but when the Mulvaney partnership soured consumers, Heinerscheid was quickly placed on leave. A veteran beer marketer was brought in to replace her, after which the company reverted to more traditional advertising – featuring a partnership with veterans organization Folds of Honor.