Trump calls time on Bud Light boycott and says it’s paid the price for partnership with Dylan Mulvaney – and says parent company Anheuser-Busch is a ‘Great American Brand’ that deserves a ‘Second Chance’
Donald Trump has reversed his stance on ‘woke’ Bud Light, suggesting the beer deserves a ‘second chance’ just weeks ahead of a fundraiser organized by a lobbyist for the beer’s parent company.
The presidential hopeful has called for an end to the Bud Light boycott sparked by his disastrous campaign with trans activist Dylan Mulvaney
The former president said the partnership was a ‘mistake of epic proportions’ for which a ‘very heavy price was paid’.
But he insisted that parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev was not a ‘woke company’ as he threatened to reveal a list of those that were.
His comments came ahead of a fundraiser organized by a major Republican lobbyist for the company in March, where tickets are being sold for $10,000 each. The event will be attended by dozens of members of Congress, Republican leaders as well as Donald Trump Jr.’
“Anheuser-Busch spends $700 million a year with our BIG Farmers, employs 65,000 Americans, 1,500 of whom are veterans, and is a founding corporate partner of Folds of Honor, which provides scholarships to families of fallen servicemen and women ,’ he wrote on social media platform Truth Social on Tuesday.
Donald Trump has suggested that Bud Light deserves a ‘second chance’ following the boycott of his beer, which occurred after it partnered with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
Bud Light sales fall in early April 2023 amid conservative backlash after brand sends commemorative can to transgender influencer
‘They have raised over $30,000,000 and awarded 44,000 scholarships. Anheuser-Busch is a great American brand that might deserve a second chance?’
‘What do you think? Maybe we should go after those companies that want to DESTROY AMERICA instead!’ the former president said.
His comments mark a sharp departure from his previous stance in May, when he criticized the makers of Bud Light for pandering to “the radical left.”
Then Trump backed a conservative writer who called the ad campaign “a wakeful, clueless, incredibly stupid miscalculation.”
His stepping down comes exactly a month before he and AB InBev lobbyist Jeff Miller, a close ally of former speaker Kevin McCarthy, are hosting a fundraiser for the presidential hopeful in Washington DC.
The brewing giant paid Miller’s firm $260,000 in 2023, according to disclosures seen by lobbying. Politics.
Meanwhile, Trump is drowning in more than $76 million in legal fees stemming from various civil and criminal trials.
Additionally, he faces the prospect of paying out a further $83 million in defamation damages following E. Jean Carroll’s monumental victory.
The former president said the Mulvaney partnership was a ‘mistake of epic proportions’ for which a ‘very heavy price was paid’
But he insisted that parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev was not a ‘woke’ company, a departure from his previous comments where he criticized the brewer for pandering to the ‘Radical Left’.
Bud Light is the official beer sponsor of the Super Bowl, but has struggled with a slump in sales since April 2023 when the Mulvaney partnership began with a custom can.
The backlash against the marketing ploy was so great that it cost $400 million in sales and saw the beer lose its American title.
Musician Kid Rock, NFL player Trae Waynes and model Bri Teresi were among the high-profile faces who voiced their disapproval, filming themselves shooting cans of beer.
The outage led to a devastating period for Bud Light, where it experienced repeated double-digit revenue declines on an almost weekly basis.
Nationwide backlash over the company’s marketing even led some stores to sell the beer for less than water, as the parent company lost a staggering $6 billion in market capitalization in just six days after the ad.
Fans also criticized the company’s response to the controversy, where it was seen by some as overcompensating with overtly patriotic ads to try to right the ship.
As the decline in revenue continued through the year, it hurt the profits of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer that produces a large number of beers, including Budweiser, Michelob and Stella Artois.
In August, just months after the Mulvaney ads ran in April, it was reported that Anheuser-Busch InBev had suffered a staggering $390 million drop in US sales.
In the same month, Modelo Especial officially triumphed over Bud Light, as America’s top-selling beer and Bud Light volume fell 26.7 percent.
Meanwhile, revenue per 100 liters, a key measure of beer sales, fell 13.5 percent in the third quarter.
Sales to U.S. retailers also fell 17 percent in the third quarter, largely due to a decline in Bud Light demand, the company reported.
In November, the company’s chief marketing officer, Benoit Garbe, announced that he was stepping down after two years amid declining sales.
Bud Light also came under fire from Mulvaney, who slammed the brand for not contacting her during the backlash.
‘I waited for the brand to reach out to me but they never did. I was scared to leave my house,” Mulvaney told her Instagram followers.
“For a company to hire a trans person and then not publicly stand by them is worse than not hiring a trans person at all.
‘Because it gives customers permission to be as transphobic and hateful as they want. There should be nothing controversial or divisive about working with us.
“I was mocked in public, I was followed and I felt a loneliness I wouldn’t wish on anyone.”
Mulvaney has since been named to Forbes’ 30 under 30 list with the magazine praising her for withstanding the fallout and Mulvaney repeating her accusations that the beer company threw her to the wolves.
Bud Light was also slammed by Mulvaney herself who accused the brand of not standing by her amid the furor
Mulvaney earned $2 million in 2023 in promotional work, landed deals with Nike and Mac, and recently appeared at the Golden Globes
She earned $2 million in endorsements in 2023, landed deals with Nike and Mac, and recently appeared at the Golden Globes.
AB InBev CEO Michel Doukeris said the company is now focusing its US marketing on more traditional outlets, such as college football and concerts, after the controversy.
In October, the company announced a multi-year partnership that will make Bud Light the official beer of the UFC mixed martial arts organization. Bud Light was one of the UFC’s original sponsors 15 years ago.
The beer company announced a $3 million scholarship project for families of America’s fallen or disabled first responders, another longtime partner of Anheuser-Busch.