Brendan Whitworth, a Marine Corps veteran, ex-CIA employee, and CEO of Anheuser Busch still hasn’t learned his lesson.
Whitworth appeared for an interview on CBS “This Morning” and instead of taking a posture of humility (like their new ads claim) he called the backlash against his company “divisive.”
Since Bud Light decided to use Dylan Mulvaney as an influencer the company has seen a 25% drop in sales.
“I think the conversation surrounding Bud Light has moved away from beer and the conversation has become divisive,” Whitworth said. “Bud Light really doesn’t belong there; Bud Light should be about bringing people together.”
Whitworth whined that people read too much into the gift they gave Mulvaney.
“It was a gift and it was one can,” he said.
Then CBS morning show host Tony Dokoupil asked, “Knowing what you know now, if you go back, would you send a can to this one person again?”
“There’s a big social conversation taking place right now and big brands are right in the middle of it,” Whitworth replied. “And it’s not just our industry or Bud Light. It’s happening in retail, it’s 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.”
“Where are you on the issue? Was this a mistake?” Dokoupil pressed.
Whitworth dodged the question a second time.
“Bud Light has supported LGBTQ since 1998, so that’s 25 years,” he said. “And as we’ve said from the beginning, we’ll continue to support the communities and organizations that we’ve supported for decades. 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 that we serve.”
Then Whitworth tried to virtue signal stating his employees’ are “full of pride” and full of “pride and commitment.”
Adding, “We’re focusing on investing behind the brand right now,” he said.
Whitworth did himself no favors and it’s a wonder why he even did the interview. After this they may want to prepare for a 36% drop in sales.
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