A public relations crisis manager said that he would not have recommended Bud Light to partner with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney because it “goes against its brand identity.”
Considerable backlash has erupted against Bud Light in recent days after Mulvaney and the company confirmed a partnership. Specially made Bud Light cans with Mulvaney’s likeness were also given to Mulvaney, which he displayed on his social media accounts.
Country singer John Rich, Kid Rock, and others suggested people boycott the brand over the controversy. Late last week, the CEO of Anheuser-Busch, Brendan Whitworth, issued a statement that “we never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people … we are in the business of bringing people together over a beer.”
David Johnson, CEO of Strategic Vision PR Group and expert in crisis communications, told Fox News that he would have told Bud Light to avoid “this situation,” meaning, using Mulvaney in its advertisements.
“Their brand identity is Midwest, southeast, southwest, rural purchasers, conservatives, sports fans as well,” he said. “And the Mulvaney endorsement, partnership seems to go against that brand.”
Data shows that Bud Light does not appeal to “young, upper-class females,” which is what the Mulvaney ad campaign may have sought to target, Johnson said. “Those people, that demographic, is never gonna be your Bud Light fan. They’re not a big beer drinker—we’ve seen this in survey after survey,” he said.
“They’re not gonna go to Bud Light, no matter whether it’s Dylan Mulvaney, Jennifer Lopez, whoever is endorsing the brand,” he continued. “So what they did was went against their brand identity and then worse, they were unprepared for the backlash they were gonna get,” he added.
“Consumers have fixed ideas about various brands, like Bud Light for example,” he explained. “And even going with Dylan Mulvaney, it seems craven, and it doesn’t seem sincere or honest … that’s why they’re suffering in comparison to Nike, who also teamed up with Mulvaney.”
“Nike has that reputation of being progressive. Look at Colin Kaepernick for example. I remember when he didn’t want the Betsy Ross sneakers with Nike and they pulled that right before the Fourth of July. So, yes, there’s been some backlash among female athletes, but it hasn’t been as intense towards Nike,” said Johnson, whose firm works with major brands to deal with any public relations crises.
Some analysts and researchers say that boycotts, however, rarely work.
“They fail because you need people to have a sustained and coordinated response,” Maurice Schweitzer, a professor at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, told ABC News. “Most people fall back on what is convenient and inexpensive.”
Allyson P. Brantley, a history professor at the University of La Verne, told the outlet that “with consumer boycotts, it’s really hard to figure out if they’re making an impact on a company’s bottom line.”
A research fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research noted several days ago that Anheuser-Busch is owned by InBev, a multinational conglomerate worth tens of billions of dollars. One product, he wrote, won’t do a huge amount of damage to the brand or value.
“But that seems like a plausible result. The Venn diagram of people interested in drinking Bud Light and those eager to support the issue at the sharp edge of the wokist culture war is pretty much just two circles vaguely near one another,” Shepard wrote. “While InBev investors won’t suffer too much, distributors of AB products and others who do business with the company surely will.”
Shepard further stipulated in the article that the “bottom-line effects of wokeness are clearer at other American companies that have abandoned fiduciary duty for politics,” referring to large corporations’ having adopted left-wing talking points and narratives around race and sex.
From The Epoch Times
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