‘The Wrong Bet To Make’: Former Anheuser Busch Exec Says Company Stepped In It With Mulvaney Partnership
UKRAINE - 2021/08/27: In this photo illustration, the Bud Light beer bottle seen displayed in a store. This beer is produced by Anheuser-Busch, ink. (Photo Illustration by Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Former Anheuser-Busch executive Anson Frericks said Sunday that the company’s move to partner the iconic Bud Light brand with trans-identifying influencer Dylan Mulvaney had been “the wrong bet to make.”

Frericks made the comment during a Sunday morning appearance on “Fox & Friends,” where he told weekend host Will Cain that the company was quite literally betting its future on Bud Light drinkers forgetting that this deal had ever been struck.

Cain posed the question directly, asking whether Frericks believed the company was just hoping to quietly ride out the controversy, betting that their target audience and loyal customers would eventually ignore the partnership and come back.

“That’s the bet they’re making. I think that’s the wrong bet to make,” Frericks said, going on to suggest that instead of just hoping people would forget, the company should instead steer in the direction the people appear to want them to go.

“I think now is the time to go back and, for companies like Anheuser-Busch, to say that, ‘Hey, moving forward for brands like Bud Light, we’re not going to be political. We’re not going to get involved in the environmental social governance movement because that’s not what the customer wants,'” he said.

“What the customer wants with Bud Light is they want to have things that bring us together. They want humor. They want the ‘Dilly Dilly’ guys. They want football. They want the things that bind us together as co-equal citizens here, not necessarily having Bud Light get involved in political controversies that tear us apart. Heck, this is one of the most apolitical brands out there, shared by Democrats and Republicans alike,” he added.

Frericks explained that a number of prominent companies were falling into the same trap, choosing to be loyal to political activist groups and use their advertising to promote their companies’ implementation of Environmental Social Governance (ESG) policies rather than to appeal to potential customers or even their own shareholders.

“Uunfortunately, when you try to be everything to everyone, you end up being accountable to no one,” he said.

Facing backlash over the Bud Light/Dylan Mulvaney partnership, Anheuser-Busch has announced a staffing shake-up — which included sending Bud Light marketing VP Alissa Heinerscheid on a leave of absence. A spokesperson explained that the move was designed to ensure that “senior marketers are more closely connected to every aspect of our brand’s activities.”

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