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Bud Light is a brand in a tailspin for one simple reason: It went woke and thought the adage about going broke didn’t apply to it.
First, it contracted transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney and his social media video series celebrating “365 Days of Girlhood.” When that resulted in a backlash and boycott that drove down the beer’s sales by roughly a quarter, Anheuser-Busch’s CEO tried to paint critics calling the Mulvaney campaign an actual ad campaign as purveyors of “misinformation.”
But an analyst for one of the biggest investment banks in the world has a different term for what we’re seeing: A “Bud Light crisis.”
According to a CNBC report Wednesday, HSBC analyst Carlos Laboy has downgraded the stock of Bud Light’s corporate owner, Anheuser-Busch InBev, to “hold,” saying there were “deeper problems than ABI admits.”
“Is ABI’s leadership getting the brand culture transformation right? It’s mixed,” Laboy wrote, according to CNBC.
“At Ambev, we think the answer is ‘yes;’ in the US, we think it’s ‘no.’ The way this Bud Light crisis came about a month ago, management’s response to it and the loss of unprecedented volume and brand relevance raises many questions.”
“Anheuser-Busch InBev reported a spike in profit for the first quarter, but the analyst cited a Beer Marketer’s Insights note that showed a steep drop in beer sales — of maybe more than 25% — in April. The Budweiser parent company, which also owns the brands Corona and Stella Artois, is up more than 5.7% this year,” CNBC noted.
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