Crashing Bud Light Doubles Down On LGBT Support

Bud Light is taking a defiant approach to recent hard times for its iconic beer by extending new support for the LGBT community while facing a rapid erosion of brand value. A partnership with the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) seems unlikely to aid in reversing the recent fall in its parent company Anheuser-Busch’s market value.

“Bud Light and the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the exclusive certifying body for LGBT-owned businesses, announce they are extending their partnership to continue supporting economic opportunities and advancements for LGBTQ+ Americans and business owners across the country,” says a recent press release. This includes a generous donation of $200,000 to the NGLCC’s Communities of Color Initiative (CoCi). Bud Light also plans to support the NGLCC’s inaugural CoCi Biz Pitch program this year.

Such strong support for the LGBT community is not new for Anheuser-Busch. It has spent the past 20 years backing local and national non-profit organizations committed to advocating for LGBTQ+ equality. Anheuser-Busch’s contributions have continued despite backlash from some customers over its controversial advertising campaign featuring transgender figure Dylan Mulvaney.

However, while Bud Light has been making headlines for its significant donations, there may be trouble brewing. Anheuser-Busch’s stock has dropped nearly 20% from its March high, and about $27 billion in market value has disappeared. This sharp decline almost tips Anheuser-Busch into an official bear market condition.

These losses coincide with an ill-received marketing push involving transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney, leading to customer pushback and calls for a boycott.

In April, Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth addressed the controversy, stating, “We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people. We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer.” Yet, the numbers tell a different story. According to Nielsen IQ data, sales volume for Bud Light has decreased by nearly 30% compared to the same period last year. Furthermore, some Budweiser products were even reported being sold for free in select stores due to a promotional rebate from the company.

This challenging environment has boosted rivals’ fortunes, with shares of Molson Coors, Constellation Brands, and Boston Beer all seeing increases for the month. Meanwhile, Anheuser-Busch’s market value continues to plunge.

As a result of these market setbacks, several executives tied to the Mulvaney marketing campaign are reportedly on a leave of absence. It remains to be seen whether Anheuser-Busch’s strategy of staunch LGBT support will pay off in the long run or whether the financial toll of customer discontent will prove too much to bear.