Bud light has been at the center of a storm, from being the target of a boycott by some to the object of praise by others. While there’s no guarantee that the current controversy will actually hurt sales, the company is likely suffering from a bit of reputational damage. And that may be the biggest concern for its parent company, AB InBev.
The controversy stems from Bud light’s sponsorship of Dylan Mulvaney, a transgender influencer with a large social media following, and a post in which she poured a beer out of a can featuring her image. The company’s move was met with a wave of support from the LGBT community and backlash from conservatives, which included a call for a boycott. The company quickly reversed its position on the issue, with executive shakeups and a vague statement that it would be more inclusive in the future.
Bud light’s parent company, AB InBev, is worth more than $100 billion and has numerous brands, including Budweiser, Coors Lite, Miller Lite, and Corona. Its stock was up over the past month, but has since dipped a little. This is due, in part, to the fact that the controversy surrounding Bud light has rubbed off on some of its other brands.
The ad controversy has also damaged the company’s reputation among some consumers, with the beer being boycotted by some on the right and supported by many on the left. While the company is still considered to be a “good” beer, it has lost market share to newer competitors in recent years as people turn away from higher-calorie lagers and toward sparkling seltzer and other alcoholic beverages.
AB InBev has responded to the controversy by placing the marketing executive responsible for the ad on leave. The company’s vice president of global marketing, Alissa Heinerscheid, led the team behind Bud light’s Super Bowl ad featuring Miles Teller and Keleigh Sperry and its ‘Carry’ campaign, which showed women carrying multiple beers to a table without spilling a drop.
Heinerscheid was recently interviewed on the podcast Make Yourself at Home, where she discussed her vision for Bud Light’s future, which included promoting inclusivity. She also praised companies like Nike and General Mills for taking a more “authentic” approach to their marketing.
The company is attempting to appeal to younger drinkers, but its NPS (Net Promoter Score) ratings from customers under 25 are a bit dismal. Similarly, its NPS from employees under 20 is low as well. Nevertheless, the company has a strong balance sheet and has plenty of time to recover from this setback. It’s just unclear how long that will take. Bud light customer service