During Thursday’s Q1 earnings call, Anheuser-Busch InBev CEO Michel Doukeris spoke out about the decline of Bud Light sales, attributing it to what he calls “misinformation” surrounding a single social media post.
Doukeris insisted that the post was not intended for production or sale to the general public and was not a formal campaign or advertisement.
The largest beer producer in the United States faced a public relations crisis after its partnership with transgender Dylan Mulvaney. The company sent Bud Light packs featuring Mulvaney’s face to celebrate her first year of “girlhood,” which many Americans and distributors found to be distasteful.
“Since we are talking about the U.S., let me share some thoughts on the Bud Light situation and put it in the context of our global company,” Doukeris said.
“Let me start by clarifying a few facts. This was the result of one camp. It was not made for production or sales to general public. It was one post, not a formal campaign or advertisement.”
NEW – In Today's Q1 Earnings Call Anheuser-Busch InBev CEO Michel Doukeris Blames 'Misinformation' for the Drop in Bud Light Sales
"One challenge is what you call the misinformation and confusion that still exists…This was one can, one influencer, one post and not a… pic.twitter.com/absKzKDK5c
— Chief Nerd (@TheChiefNerd) May 4, 2023
“One challenge is what you call the misinformation and confusion that still exists,” Doukeris explained. “We will need to continue to clarify the fact that this was one can, one influencer, one post, and not a campaign, and repeat this message for some time. But as we do that, we are more focused on leveraging our global experience and mobilizing our global resources to support the U.S. team as we move forward.”
In April, Anheuser-Busch U.S. CEO Brendan Whitworth released a statement emphasizing the company’s commitment to transparency and responsibility.
The controversy raised questions about the company’s commitment to American values and its responsibility to consumers, leading to a massive decline in sales for the brand, highlighting the danger of corporations using their influence to promote political or social agendas.
Absolutely insane. The Bud Light boycott is working.
Bud Light sales (outside of restaurants and bars) are down 26.1% for the week ending in April 22nd compared to the previous year.
Sales were down 21.1% for the week prior.
Volumes are down 8% for the year.
Coors Light and… pic.twitter.com/8lM7Y0MwMT
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) May 2, 2023
“We continue to be committed to the programs and partnerships that we have forged over decades with our consumers and with organizations that represent a wide range of communities where we operate,” Doukeris said.
“We work every day to delight our consumers and bring people together. When we do this well, our brands perform. Finally, let’s talk beer. Everything we do should be about beer and should promote beer.”