Anheuser-Busch has paid for a free case of Bud Light for every distributor employee as the company scrambles to save the doomed beer brand.
The beer maker is facing a major backlash in the distribution chain after the disastrous marketing stunt with Dylan Mulvaney.
The company has also promised distributors it will fix the resulting Bud Light boycott.
“It sent shock waves through distributors,” said Jeff Wheeler, vice president of marketing for Del Papa Distributing near Houston, Texas.
He said his staff received “tons of phone calls from people being very hateful.”
Del Papa posted a statement on Facebook, saying: “We too are upset with this situation and have been vocal about it with the top leadership at Anheuser-Busch,” Del Papa’s statement said.
“They didn’t need to take this risk,” one distributor said.
“I lost my cowboy bars and now I could lose my gay bars, too.”
Anheuser-Busch also sent wholesalers a letter to share with furious retailers that explained, “This can is not a formal campaign or advertisement.
“Our new Vice President of Bud Light and all of us at Anheuser-Busch are committed to reminding all of our consumers why they love Bud Light and why they’ve made it the #1 beer in America.”
As Slay News reported earlier, Bud Light sales continue to plummet.
According to data released by Bump Williams Consulting, Bud Light sales are down 21.4% compared to the same time last year.
The week before, sales were down 17%.
“Larger packages of Bud Light are not being purchased — the 30-pack suitcases, the 20 packs, the 18 packs, the 12 packs — they’re all being impacted,” Williams said.
“It’s going to be very very hard to reverse the decline.”
“I think it runs the risk of losing that No. 1 position at the end of calendar year 2023 to Modelo Especial,” Williams said.
Bud Light is the bestselling beer in the US.
Last year were around $4.8 billion.
The No. 2 brand, Modelo Especial, sold $3.75 billion while Michelob Ultra generated $3.3 billion in sales.
“Her big miss was I don’t think she understood who the core Bud Light shopper was,” Williams said of Alissa Heinerscheid, the marketing executive behind the self-destructive campaign.
As Slay News reported, just before the campaign dropped, Heinerscheid trashed Bud Light’s customer base and vowed to turn the brand “woke.”
“When she came out with her comments, they were deemed as being derogatory, insulting, and juvenile,” Williams said.
“And the Bud Light drinkers said ‘Enough of that’.”
Bud Light’s sales have now collapsed 26%, an unmitigated disaster for the company after they went full woke and alienated their brand’s base. pic.twitter.com/ZMfDLhsqSZ
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) May 3, 2023
First week after Dylan Mulvaney, Bud Light in-store sales down 11%. Next week 21%. Now 26%. Continued losses of such size will be catastrophic. https://t.co/EULoES1EPh pic.twitter.com/UX06gjFHb4
— Byron York (@ByronYork) May 2, 2023
Former Anheuser-Busch president of sales and distribution, Anson Frericks, said:
“Anheuser-Busch has forgotten who it is accountable to. it’s accountable to its shareholders.
“We’re a month into this controversy and the reason we’re still into this and still talking about it is Anheuser has not been clear about what Bud Light stands for.
“Traditionally it’s been an apolitical brand that did not get into politics.”
READ MORE: Bud Light Sales Tank While Coors Light and Miller Lite See Big Sales Spike