In a recent turn of events, Anheuser-Busch heir Billy Busch has offered to buy back the Bud Light brand following a contentious controversy involving transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. This move comes on the heels of a significant drop in market value and widespread criticism of the company’s recent advertising strategy.
The controversy was sparked by an ad featuring Dylan Mulvaney, a transgender actor, promoting Bud Light. The ad sparked significant backlash, leading to a reported $27 billion decrease in the company’s value. Responding to the uproar, Busch made a public offer to repurchase the Bud Light brand from its current owners, AB InBev.
Busch appeared on “Hannity,” where he stated that the Mulvaney-Bud Light ad controversy “was a huge mistake”. He suggested that the founders of Anheuser-Busch would be “rolling over in their graves” at the partnership. According to Busch, the company’s decision to involve itself in politics was “not wise,” and its advertising strategy went against traditional American values.
He told conservative influencer Tomi Lahren, “Sell it to me. I’ll be the first in line to buy that brand back from you, and we’ll make that brand great again.”
“We’ve always cared very, very much about the people in America. What made this company great was America, of course.”
— OutKick (@Outkick) August 16, 2023
The heir to the Anheuser-Busch fortune expressed his dismay at the company’s decision to use a transgender individual to advertise Bud Light. He argued that such a move was not in line with the brand’s identity, implying that it had strayed from its roots.
By offering to buy back the brand, Busch hopes to restore Bud Light’s reputation and standing in the market. His proposal has ignited discussions about the role of politics and social issues in advertising and the potential consequences of these decisions on a brand’s value and consumer loyalty.
Whether or not AB InBev will consider Busch’s offer remains to be seen. What is clear, however, is that this controversy has brought to light the complexities of navigating social and political issues in today’s business world. With the future of Bud Light hanging in the balance, the industry will be watching closely as this saga continues to unfold.