Bud Light’s controversial partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney could have been a “strategic” attempt to permanently alter the brand’s audience, according to an anonymous former employee.
The popular beer brand came under fire in April after a post from Mulvaney’s Instagram account featured a personalized Bud Light can. The backlash against the brand in response to partnering with the transgender figure led to a massive slump in sales.
Though the company’s CEO insisted in a statement that it “never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people,” the ex-Anheuser-Busch worker suggested that the move was intentional.
“[Employees] expressed the fact that they were shocked. ‘Why would they do this? What were they thinking?’ Especially now. This is the worst; it’s like the worst time yet, the best timing yet if a company were trying to change the way it operates from a corporate level. And that’s just my opinion,” he said to OutKick’s Tomi Lahren.
“Many of us are talking about that like they planned it in a way … like a strategic destruction of Bud Light.”The whistleblower stated on “Tomi Lahren Is Fearless” that “nobody’s happy” about the fall in sales and “everybody” considers the move a “very bad idea.” However, on the corporate level, he claimed that this could have been part of a strategy to undermine the American company.
“When the company was bought over by InBev, a lot of things changed [from] when it was owned by Anheuser-Busch. You know, it’s an American brand,” the whistleblower remarked.
He explained that the company previously offered many benefits prior to its purchase by InBev. Through the fall in sales for the Bud Light brand, the former employee stated, the corporation could restructure both employee benefits and its company standards through layoffs and renegotiating contracts.Even Anheuser-Busch’s other brands — including Budweiser, Michelob Ultra, Busch Light and Natural Light — also saw drops in sales amid a wider backlash against Bud Light and its parent company.
“Bud Light has been failing for many years. We’ve talked about that for many years. The numbers of just, you know, little by little deteriorated. And it feels like they said, ‘Let’s put this nail in the coffin,’” he said. “Now we have a lot of layoffs, a lot of loss in production. It would be easy for them to restructure, let’s say, pay or contracts.”“It’s too obvious that they wouldn’t just mistakenly do this and not expect these repercussions. Anybody could tell you what was going to happen,” he commented.
NiselsenIQ data provided to Fox Business by Bump Williams Consulting showed that for the week ending June 3, Bud Light sales were down 24.4% compared to a year ago. Over the last four weeks ending June 3, the data showed Bud Light sales were down 24.6% relative to the same period last year.
Most recently, Bud Light lost its title as the No. 1-selling beer brand in dollar sales to Modelo Especial, losing the spot for the first time in over two decades.
“I’m angry at the company on the corporate level just because they had to have known that this was going to happen. And they let it happen,” the whistleblower remarked.He concluded, “As for why, it’s all just speculation, but from previous years and the way they tried to take away the way the company is run from the past to now, it’s not the same company it was when I started.”