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Budweiser releases new patriotic ad after conservative backlash over partnership with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney

Conservative dad says he's launching "Ultra Right" beer
Conservative dad says he's launching "Ultra Right" beer 00:26

After receiving backlash for its partnership with trans actor and social media star Dylan Mulvaney, Budweiser has released a new patriotic ad featuring its signature Clydesdale horse mascot. The new ad and a statement from the company's CEO appear to be a direct response to the criticism the company received, mainly from conservatives. 

The ad shows the Clydesdale galloping past patriotic symbols, such as people raising an American flag and the Lincoln Memorial. "This is a story bigger than beer, this is the story of the American spirit," the narrator says at the end, as the words "This Bud's for you," appear on screen.

The beer company faced backlash in recent days after Mulvaney used her social media platforms to promote a sweepstakes contest for the company. Bud Light also created commemorative cans with her face on them. 

Mulvaney, who has 10.8 million followers on TikTok and 1.8 million on Instagram, is known for her "Days of Girlhood" series, where she shared her journey as a trans woman. 

She recently marked the first anniversary of the series with a live-streamed variety show, "Day 365 Live." The show featured celebrities and musical performances, and 100% of the proceeds went to The Trevor Project, an organization that works to prevent suicide among LGBTQ youth. 

Social media personalities with large followings are often paid to post ads for companies. In a statement to CBS News after receiving criticism for the partnership, the beer's parent company, Anheuser-Busch said it "works with hundreds of influencers across our brands as one of many ways to authentically connect with audiences across various demographics."

Some celebrities joined the outraged critics, with Kid Rock sharing an Instagram video of himself shooting cans of the beer with a gun. "F*** Bud Light and f*** Anheuser-Busch!" he said. "Have a terrific day." 

The backlash did result in a drop in the company's stock. On March 31, the Anheuser-Busch stock was valued at $66.73. Mulvaney posted the video on April 1, and by April 10, its stock price dropped to $64.96. It then dropped to $63.38 on April 12 before slowly increasing again. 

On April 14, Anhauser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth released a statement alluding to the backlash and saying he is "responsible for ensuring every consumer feels proud of the beer we brew." 

"We're honored to be part of the fabric of this country, he said, adding that the company employs 18,000 people and has 47,000 colleagues at independent distributors. "We have thousands of partners, millions of fans and a proud history supporting our communities, military, first responders, sports fans and hard-working Americans everywhere."

"We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people," Whitworth said. "We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer."

He said he is "focused on building and protecting our remarkable history and heritage" and that he will "continue to work tirelessly to bring great beers to consumers across our nation."

Mulvaney has not directly responded to the backlash, but shared a video of herself singing "No One Is Alone," from the musical "Into the Woods," writing in the Instagram caption: "It's hard to see the light now, just don't let it go ❤️ this song felt fitting for the week I've been having. All is well! Cheers 🍻" 

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