In an earnings call with investors Thursday, Anheuser Busch CEO Michel Doukeris downplayed the brand’s partnership with Mulvaney

St. Louis – Anheuser Busch (AB) is in full on damage control mode after its disastrous ad campaign with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney. According to data from Bump Williams Consulting, a Connecticut based firm specializing in the beverage alcohol industry, Bud Light in-store sales dropped 26% during the week that ended April 22.

AB decided the best way to make amends with its customer base was to give a case of beer to all its employees. Call it a goodwill gesture. In an earnings call with investors Thursday, Anheuser-Busch CEO Michel Doukeris also downplayed the brand’s Mulvaney partnership that prompted a nationwide boycott of the product.

Anheuser-Busch – Brewery in damage control mode. Photo courtesy of Anheuser-Busch.

“It sent shock waves through distributors,” Jeff Wheeler, vice president of marketing for Del Papa Distributing near Houston, told the WSJ.

Bud Light cases have fallen 6.7% year-to-date, 10.7% for the week ending April 8 and more than 21% for the week ending April 15, according to reports. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch recently published a scathing story entitled “Bud Light sales continue to plummet after transgender marketing controversy,” spotlighting Bud Light’s massive decline in sales.

Doukeris said there is “misinformation spreading.”

“It was one post,” said Doukeris. “Not a formal campaign or advertisement.”

Doukeris said in the earnings call that, along with the beer, AB is providing financial support to employees including delivery drivers, sales representatives, and more while tripling media spending on advertising over the summer. The push confirms Anheuser-Busch is planning a “major market push” to undo the damage caused by the Mulvaney fiasco.

“We will continue to learn, meet the moment in time, all be stronger and we work tirelessly to do what we do best: Bring people together over a beer and creating a future of more cheers,” said the CEO.

As apologies go, free beer is not a bad way to start, but AB’s brand damage may just be irrevocable.

Image by Freepik.

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