The CEO of Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of Bud Light, said financial assistance has already begun being sent to wholesalers and beer distributors affected by a two-month sales decline caused by an ongoing customer boycott.
Brendan Whitworth acknowledged his accountability as CEO for the repercussions faced by employees, consumers, and distributors due to the backlash that began in response to a video posted on Instagram by transgender social media star. The video showcased personalized Bud Light cans Mulvaney received as a "gift" according to Whitworth.
Bud Light, which had held the distinction of America's top-selling beer for over two decades,in May, signifying a significant shift in the beer market.
"I think it's the impact, honestly on the employees that weighs most on me. Again, as I mentioned, seeing the pride and the commitment that they have, working on behalf of 165-plus-year-old American institution is what gives us energy as we look to move forward and focus on what we do best," Whitworth, told "CBS Mornings" exclusively.
Conservatives like Kid Rock and Travis Tritt joined the uproar, calling for a boycott of the popular brew. Viral videos even showed people shooting and dumping Bud Light cans. As a result, many members of the LGBTQ+ community also joined the boycott, upset with how Anheuser-Busch distanced itself following the backlash through a series of statements.
When asked about Bud Light's stance on LGBTQ+ rights, Whitworth highlighted the company's history of supporting the queer community since 1998. He stressed their commitment to supporting organizations and communities they've been associated with for years while focusing on their product.
"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 that we do right by our employee, take care and support our partners, and ultimately make an impact in the communities that we serve," he said.
Despite the recent setbacks, Whitworth said Anheuser-Busch plans to triple its investment in Bud Light this year as they launch their upcoming summer campaign and prepare for the upcoming NFL season.
"Over the last month we've talked to over 100,000 consumers and their feedback is very clear. What is it? The feedback is to reinforce what Bud Light has always meant to them, which is good times goodwill, and easy enjoyment," he said.
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