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Bud Light to buy back unsold beer following Dylan Mulvaney crisis

Bud Light has reportedly told wholesalers that it will buy back unsold cases of beer that are past their expiration dates as sales of the Anheuser-Busch-owned brand have lagged following its disastrous marketing partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.

Anheuser-Busch is looking to make amends with alienated consumers who were put off by the Mulvaney social media posts touting Bud Light, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The company is planning to have Bud Light sponsor a veterans group for the first time ever, the Journal reported.

The brand will also be promoted in commercials that will play heavily on themes such as football and country music, according to the Journal.

Mulvaney, 26, who amassed a following of millions on social media who tracked her transition from a man to a woman during the COVID pandemic, posted a video on her Instagram account, where she was nearly 2 million followers, promoting a Bud Light contest.She was given a specially designed commemorative can of Bud Light that included her likeness.

The posts sparked outrage as well as calls for a boycott of the brand, which appear to have resulted in depressed sales.

The controversy and Anheuser-Busch’s handling of the backlash appear to have alienated a wide swath of its consumer base.

While conservatives vowed to boycott the company’s brands, LGBTQ advocates accused the firm of capitulating to the outrage aimed at Mulvaney.The fallout has led to two of the company’s top marketing executives being put on leaves of absence.

Nationwide retail sales of Bud Light sales dropped 23.6% versus a year ago during the week of May 6 — which was slightly down from the 23.3% decline for the week that ended April 29, according to data from Bump Williams Consulting and NielsenIQ data.

Sales of other Anheuser-Busch brands also continued to drop, albeit at a slower rate than the week before.

Those included Budweiser, down 9.7% versus an 11.4% drop a week earlier; Michelob Ultra, down 2.9% versus 4.3%; and Natural Light, down 2.5% versus 5.2% the previous week.

Meanwhile, rival beer brands competing against Bud Light — the No. 1 beer in the US, generating revenue of $4.8 billion last year — are grabbing market share at a faster clip.

Sales of Pabst Blue Ribbon were up 21.6% in the week of May 6 — slightly up from the 18.9% spike the previous week.Miller High Life gained 10.4% in sales compared to an 8.3% bump over the same time period the previous week, according to Bump Williams and NielsenIQ data.

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