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Anheuser-Busch released a statement on Friday in response to the backlash that the company triggered earlier this year when one of its brands, Bud Light, decided to partner with a controversial transgender activist for a paid marketing engagement.
Sales for Bud Light have fallen by more than 25% and its competitors have since seen a large increase in their sales. Other brands for Anheuser-Busch have also taken a significant hit, including Budweiser (-11.2%), Michelob Ultra (-6.5%), Busch Light (-5.2%), and Natural Light (-4.9%), according to numbers released late last month.
Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth appeared to acknowledge with his most recent statement that the backlash the company is facing is having a significant impact at the company.
“We recognize that over the last two months, the discussion surrounding our company and Bud Light has moved away from beer, and this has impacted our consumers, our business partners, and our employees,” the statement began. “We are a beer company, and beer is for everyone.”
He said that the company was “announcing three important actions as we continue to move our business forward” in light of the backlash.
“First, we are investing to protect the jobs of our frontline employees,” he said. “Second, we are providing financial assistance to our independent wholesalers to help them support their employees.”
Whitworth said in his final point, which was addressed to the company’s “valued consumers,” that the company “hear[s] you.”
“Our summer advertising launches next week, and you can look forward to Bud Light reinforcing what you’ve always loved about our brand – that it’s easy to drink and easy to enjoy,” he said. “As we move forward, we will focus on what we do best – brewing great beer and earning our place in moments that matter to you.”
The statement did not include any kind of apology for the company’s marketing engagement with controversial transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, a man who claims that he is a woman.