The fallout from the Dylan Mulvaney campaign is staggering

Bosses at Budweiser have finally disclosed the financial toll of the Bud Light boycott, revealing a staggering $1.4 billion drop in sales in America. The world’s largest brewer attributed this significant decline to a 15.3 percent decrease in sales following an advertising campaign featuring Dylan Mulvaney, a transgender influencer, who posted an advert for Bud Light on Instagram last April.

Initially, there were indications of a double-digit percentage decrease in sales in the months after Mulvaney’s post. However, this is the first time an actual figure has been attached to the public relations disaster. Mulvaney’s post, where she appeared dressed as the character Holly Golightly from the film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” celebrating her “day 365 of womanhood” after transitioning, triggered a substantial backlash. Americans boycotted Bud Light, which was once a top-selling lager in the US. In response, the company launched a new ad campaign featuring NFL legends Peyton Manning and Emmitt Smith, as well as rapper Post Malone, in recent months.

Despite these efforts, Bud Light’s sales continued to plummet. Belgian-based parent company AB InBev, which also owns brands like Stella Artois and Corona, reported a tough year in 2023, with organic revenue in North America dropping by $1.4 billion. CEO Michel Doukeris acknowledged that while Bud Light has been gradually regaining its market share since May, the progress has been slower than anticipated. The company has shifted its advertising focus to sporting events and concerts in an attempt to lure back customers.

From May through February, Bud Light managed to recover onIy 1.2 percentage points of lost market share. Doukeris expressed optimism about the progress but acknowledged that it was not as rapid as they had hoped for. AB InBev’s shares have also seen a decline of around four percent since the earnings announcement. Analysts have described the company’s performance in the US as underwhelming, with revenue experiencing double-digit declines and a loss of market share.

To address the fallout from the Mulvaney partnership, Bud Light enlisted the support of NFL legends Peyton Manning and Emmitt Smith in a bid to boost sales. The Pro Football Hall of Famers starred in a new commercial released in December ahead of the Super Bowl. The advertisement depicted Manning and Smith engaging in a playful stunt, reflecting the brand’s efforts to regain consumer trust and interest.

Despite the setback caused by the boycott, Mulvaney managed to capitalize on her newfound fame, earning $2 million in 2023 through promotional work with brands like Nike and Mac. However, she also criticized Bud Light for its lack of public support during the backIash, expressing disappointment at the brand’s failure to stand by her amid the controversy.

The fallout from the Mulvaney advertising campaign had significant repercussions for Bud Light, with a reported $390 million drop in US sales in August and a 26.7 percent decrease in Bud Light volume. In November, the company’s chief marketing officer, Benoit Garbe, announced his resignation amidst the declining sales.

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