Bud Light’s parent company has been downgraded in a key metric for not being friendly enough to the gay and transgender community following the boycott of their brand. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) declared that Anheuser-Busch did not adequately defend transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney after a consumer-led boycott.
The rating change may be surprising to observers who witnessed the partnership with Mulvaney.
The Human Rights Campaign is downgrading the beer giant’s rating on its Corporate Equality Index. The company previously had a perfect score related to LGBT issues.
An official at HRC stated that Anheuser-Busch “had a key moment to really stand up and demonstrate the importance of their values of diversity, equity, and inclusion and their response really fell short.”
HRC gave the beer manufacturer 90 days to respond to the change.
The Bud Light parent company said that it created employee resource groups to “be a safe space for those who identify with a given community and those who wish to be allies.”
Bud Light has seen a dramatic drop in sales since its announced partnership with Mulvaney. Mulvaney shared an image of specially-made cans with the activist’s face on them.
The boycott has run so deep that an image of Bud Light being available essentially free circulated on social media.
The photo showed a retailer selling a case of the beverage for $19.98. On the outside of the case was a coupon for a $20 rebate.
The boycott has also affected the company’s market position. Its stock, Anheuser-Busch InBev has fallen more than 7% since its May 4 earnings report.
Bud Light has seen a decline in sales of almost 25% since the start of the consumer backlash. Budweiser has also seen a drop of about 10%.
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The criticism of Anheuser-Busch is not just limited to conservatives. After the beer company decided to drop its partnership with Mulvaney, there have been calls to boycott the brand by left-wing causes for not adequately supporting the LGBT community.
Anheuser-Busch announced that it “significantly increased” spending since the Mulvaney partnership was announced, including tripling its marketing efforts.