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'Wake-Up Call': Bud Light Gets Worst News from Popular Gay Bars

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After choosing to alienate its conservative customer base by partnering with a man who claims to be a woman, the struggling brand Bud Light is now facing pressure from another direction.

On Monday. according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, The Saloon, a Minneapolis gay bar, became the latest business to stop selling products from Anheuser-Busch, Bud Light’s parent company, while its owner criticized Anheuser-Busch for failing to double down on support for transgender actor and model Dylan Mulvaney.

According to KMSP-TV in Minneapolis, Saloon owner John Moore stated, “Anheuser-Busch had an opportunity to support a marginalized community in a way that few other corporations have attempted, but they abandoned that direction. We view that as unacceptable.”

The 2Bears Tavern Group, which owns four gay bars in Chicago, made a similar decision in May, according to WGN-TV in Chicago.

Anheuser-Busch has failed to apologize to its customers for its partnership with Dylan Mulvaney, but has put the marketing executive responsible for the partnership on leave along with her boss and put out an empty statement in response to outrage.

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In response, conservatives have continued to boycott Bud Light, bringing the stock of AB-InBev, the conglomerate that owns Anheuser-Busch, down from $65.57 per share on April 3 (when the controversy began) to $56.73 as of Wednesday’s closing, according to Yahoo Finance, a plunge that has cost the company billions.

Bud Light sales are down considerably, according to both sales data and anecdotes from sellers.

According to the New York Post, not even Memorial Day weekend could help the struggling brand:

“Demand for Bud Light over the crucial Memorial Day weekend — the official kickoff of the summer beer buying season — was lukewarm with many store shelves still holding cases of the once mighty beer, Williams said after a spot check of local stores,” the Post reported.

Should Bud Light regret it’s marketing decision with Mulvaney?

At an advertising conference in Cannes, France, on Monday, an advertising executive for the AB InBev, called the situation a “wake-up call” for the company, according to the advertising industry publication AdAge.

“In times like this, when things get divisive and controversial so easily, I think it’s an important wake-up call to all of us marketers first of all to be very humble,” said Marcel Marcondes, AB InBev’s global chief marketing executive, according to AdAge.

“That’s what we’re doing, being very humble, and really reminding ourselves of what we should do best every day, which is to really understand our consumers. Which is to really celebrate and appreciate every consumer that loves our brands — but in a way that can make them be together, not apart.”

Matt Walsh and other conservatives continue to support the boycott, as Bud Light has reportedly offered to buy back expired beer from wholesalers.

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In light of this epic collapse of a once-dominant company, the decisions of a few gay bars in the middle of the country may not seem very significant. However, it is important to consider the incentives in place for Anheuser-Busch, which go beyond the hubris of a leftist marketing executive.

Anheuser-Busch recently lost its perfect Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index rating. As USA Today reported in May, the group, which calls itself “the nation’s largest LGBTQ advocacy group” said the company’s response to the Mulvaney controversy showed it “does not stand up for the values of diversity, equity and inclusion it espouses.”

The opinion of a radical leftist organization like the Human Rights Campaign matters to companies like Anheuser-Busch because some large investments firms rely on such ratings for environmental, social, and governance investing, known as ESG.  Radicals like Larry Finke, CEO of the huge investment firm BlackRock, openly brag about seeking to “force behaviors,” through ESG investing.

Bud Light is trapped between its conservative customer base and radical groups like the Human Rights Campaign, as Anheuser-Busch engages in damage control that satisfies neither side.

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