Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth dodged a question about whether he regrets the company’s partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
Whitworth spoke on “CBS Mornings” Wednesday to discuss the state of the struggling beer company. Whitworth lamented the impact the boycott has had on the company’s reputation with its consumers and partners.
“We have to understand the impact that it’s had … it’s the impact on our employees, the impact on our consumers, and as well the impact on our partners,” he said. “One thing that I’d love to make extremely clear is that impact is my responsibility and as the CEO, everything we do here, I’m accountable for.” (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: SOURCE: Top Anheuser-Busch Marketing Executives Responsible For Boycott Are No Longer Employed)
“Given the moment we’re in, this moment in America, with trans issues at the top of the Republican social conservative political agenda: Knowing what you know now, if you could go back, would you send this can to this one person again?” co-host Tony Dokoupil asked.
The Anheuser-Busch CEO did not directly answer whether he regrets partnering with Mulvaney back in April. He asserted the beer brand will continue to support the LGBTQ community, but that he wants to focus more on brewing and selling beer.
“There’s a big social conversation taking place right now, and big brands are right in the middle of it and it’s not just our industry or Bud Light. It’s happening in retail, happening in fast food. And so for us what we need to understand is — deeply understand and appreciate — is the consumer and what they want, what they care about and what they expect from big brands,” Whitworth said. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Leaked Social Media Pics From Bud Light Ad Exec Who Slammed ‘Fratty’ Culture Seem Pretty Fratty)
In response to recent controversy, @AnheuserBusch CEO Brendan Whitworth tells CBS Mornings that his company will continue to support the LGBTQ community.
He did not directly answer the questions of whether the promotional campaign with a transgender influencer was a mistake. pic.twitter.com/19PXJQkoem
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) June 28, 2023
“Bud Light has supported LGBTQ since 1998, so that’s 25 years. And as we’ve said from the beginning, we’ll continue to support the communities and organizations that we’ve supported for decades,” Whitworth continued. “But as we move forward, we want to focus on what we do best, which is brewing great beer for everyone, listening to our consumers, being humble in listening to them, making sure we do right by our employees, take care and support our partners and ultimately make an impact in the communities we serve.”
Bud Light has struggled to regain traction since the boycott commenced in April. Bud Light lost its spot to Modelo as America’s top-selling beer at the end of May, and sales of the beverage slipped nearly 30% in the week ending June 17 compared to the same week in 2022.