Sales of Bud Light have plummeted, with reports of drinkers and distributors boycotting the brand, resulting in a staggering 70 percent drop in sales after the ad campaign with the transgender influencer, Dylan Mulvaney.
Anheuser-Busch, the global beer giant, has suffered a significant loss in value, plummeting over $5 billion, following the ad announcement.
Since March 31, shares of Bud Light’s parent company have fallen by nearly 4%, resulting in a decrease in the company’s market capitalization from $132.38 billion to $127.13 billion as of Wednesday. Anheuser-Busch stock also experienced a decline of more than 1.5% on the same day.
Alissa Heinerscheid, the vice-president of marketing at Bud Light, claimed that she wanted to modernize the brand and move away from its “fratty, out-of-touch humor.”
Other brands are also following suit – just this month, Nike also featured Mulvaney in an advertisement, showcasing her modeling a sports bra.
Unsurprisingly, this sparked outrage and led to a boycott by female athletes and customers, with Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies leading the charge.
It’s not just limited to the United States. In 2021, a John Lewis advertisement depicted a young boy wearing a dress and makeup, dancing around the house, leaving lipstick-smeared walls and chaos in his wake.
The retailer was accused of sexism, agenda pushing, appropriating trans culture, and sexualizing children, even by those who would typically be supportive on social media.
John Lewis failed to realize that the home insurance policy they were promoting wouldn’t actually cover the damage caused by the child in the advertisement. The ad was quickly pulled after this embarrassing revelation.
Gillette also had its fair share of backlash in 2019 with an advertisement calling out “toxic masculinity” in relation to men’s razors.
The campaign turned the brand’s iconic slogan, “the best a man can get,” into a question, “Is this the best a man can get?”, and portrayed men as bullies and sexual predators. This sparked another backlash and calls for a boycott.