Bud Light's trans partnership has catastrophic consequences for brand as sales continue to drop

Bud Light's trans partnership has catastrophic consequences for brand as sales continue to drop

Bud Light found itself at the centre of a controversy after partnering up with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney

Dylan Mulvaney via Instagram
James Saunders

By James Saunders

Published: 29/02/2024

- 19:32

Updated: 01/03/2024

- 17:04

Donald Trump called the ad a ‘mistake of epic proportions’

Bud Light’s parent company has seen a sharp drop in sales for the third quarter in a row following boycotts over a controversial trans advertising campaign.

AB InBev is the firm behind popular beer brands Corona, Budweiser and Stella Artois – but the brewer’s US retail sales fell by 17.4 per cent in 2023’s final quarter.

It’s a sharper decline than the previous quarter’s 16.6 per cent sales reduction, and means AB InBev has seen double-digit per cent drops for three quarters running.

The drinks giant’s latest selling stumble was blamed on a drop-off in Bud Light sales in new figures released today.

Dylan Mulvaney, Kid Rock and Bud Light can

The reaction to Dylan Mulvaney's ad saw rapper Kid Rock gun down a pack of Bud Light

Dylan Mulvaney/Kid Rock

Bud Light, once the top-selling brew in the US, sparked a ‘woke’ row last year after partnering up with a trans actress and social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney.

The ad campaign, driven by marketing VP Alissa Heinerschneid’s stated aim to make Bud Light more “inclusive”, saw Mulvaney – dressed as Audrey Hepburn – advertising a ‘March Madness’ promotion by the beer label and posing with several cans of the drink.

Bud Light also sent Mulvaney a personalised can, which it said was a practice they used “from time to time… for fans and for brand influencers”.

Critics accused the brewer of promoting a ‘left-wing agenda’ – Ron DeSantis said AB InBev was associating with “radical social ideologies”, while rapper Kid Rock posted footage of himself gunning down a pack of Bud Lights with an assault rifle.


On the left, human rights groups condemned the brand for not standing up for Mulvaney following the advertisement.

The trans influencer said she felt “abandoned” by AB InBev, and received a significant amount of abuse online for her partnership with the brewer.

Presidential hopeful Donald Trump counselled restraint, calling on Republicans to give the beer a “second chance”, but said he thought the ad was a “mistake of epic proportions”.

The former Potus’ comments follow those of his son Donald Trump Jr, who said he was not keen on “destroying an American, iconic company” over “the stupidity of someone in a marketing campaign”.

AB InBev has recently leaned into more patriotic advertising – like their recent Super Bowl promotion which focuses on “the American spirit” – with a greater appeal to the American right.

Commentators suggested Budweiser’s Super Bowl advertisement was an attempt to win back conservative customers, with the brewer also taking steps to bolster investor confidence via a $1 billion (£824 million) share buyback last October.

Globally, AB InBev sales rose 7.8 per cent last year, though the actual volume of beer sold dropped – in part, due to price hikes across the brewer’s range of brands.

GB News has approached AB InBev for comment.

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