Billy Busch, a descendant of the Anheuser-Busch family, has openly admitted that the company’s controversial advertising campaign featuring transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney was a “massive mistake” and has resulted in declining sales. According to Busch, the founders of Anheuser-Busch would be profoundly disappointed with the campaign as it goes against the company’s core values.
During an interview on “Hannity,” Busch shared his view that the company’s attempt to promote inclusivity ended up creating division, despite their initial intentions. He highlighted that the company’s legacy was built on the principle of uniting people through a sociable and enjoyable beer-drinking experience.
The advertising campaign, which involved Mulvaney’s image being featured on specially designed Bud Light cans, faced significant backlash and criticism. Anheuser-Busch’s parent company, Bud Light, experienced a substantial decrease in market value after announcing the partnership. Busch stated that the campaign’s message did not resonate well with Bud Light’s target audience – beer consumers.
Busch went on to elaborate on his ancestors’ perspective, explaining that they were patriotic individuals who loved the country for its freedom and the ability to live according to one’s own choices. However, he believed that such personal matters should not have been promoted on a beer can or forcefully presented to people.
The negative impact on sales was evident in Anheuser-Busch’s financial reports, with a 10% decrease in revenue and a 14% decline in sales at U.S. retailers compared to the previous year. As a result, the company had to lay off hundreds of corporate employees in the U.S. due to the ongoing financial ramifications.
Busch urged the company’s current management to gain a better understanding of their audience and steer clear of political agendas. He emphasized the importance of focusing on what resonates with the American market and advised against mixing beer advertising with divisive political issues.
In a broader perspective, Busch’s statement highlights the challenges that companies face when they try to align their brands with social and political matters. Such moves can often lead to unintended consequences and consumer backlash.