Bud Light has announced its “biggest summer campaign ever” with “Easy to Drink, Easy to Enjoy” in the wake of major layoffs and decreased sales following a controversial partnership with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney.
Anheuser-Busch announced this week that it would lay off hundreds of employees across its corporate staff, a move that represented approximately 380 U.S. employees. The layoffs were an attempt by the company to “simplify and reduce layers” across its U.S. offices and not impact “brewery and warehouse staff, drivers and field sales, among others.”
Oxygen Financial CEO Ted Jenkin told Fox News Digital that the company’s decision is indicative of consumers’ reluctance to engage in politics when selecting a product.
“Look, we love the products and services many companies sell us. We just don’t want any agenda to force down our throats and we definitely don’t want anything political forced down our throats,” he said. “And if you do, we’re going to exercise our free speech to vote with our feet—and that means not buy your product.”
The controversy embroiling Anheuser-Busch over Bud Light’s partnership with Mulvaney has sent shockwaves through the beer-making industry, leading The Ardagh Group, a global glass producer who contracts with the company, to close two of its plants in North Carolina and Louisiana in July putting roughly 645 employees out of a job.
Data from Evercore ISI also shows that in the 12-week period leading up to July 2, Bud Light’s sales volume fell by 27.1% over that timeframe—much of the drops stemming after the partnership went public. Collectively, the Bud Light family of products, which includes beer and seltzer that shares its name, was down 28.5% over that same period.
“Bud Light is a cautionary tale for any company putting politics ahead of consumers – there are consequences and you’re nothing without your customers,” Executive Director of Consumers’ Research Will Hild said.
In an effort to win back some consumer favor and increase its sales, Bud Light announced the launch of its new campaign and has contracted a summer music tour to “reshape the company’s image.”
Jenkin said he believes the company will lead back to focusing on the traditional American center, blue-collar and middle-class Americans.
“You’re going to see them turn the page and say, let’s go back to what worked. And eventually, consumers will heal, and they’ll start buying our product again,” he said.
An Anheuser-Busch spokesperson was not available for comment.