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CNN bends over backward to blame Bud Light's downfall on anything but the boycott — even suggests Cinco de Mayo
Image source: CNN screenshot

CNN bends over backward to blame Bud Light's downfall on anything but the boycott — even suggests Cinco de Mayo

CNN tried on Wednesday to minimize the connection between Bud Light's partnership with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney and its downfall as America's No. 1 beer.

Modelo Especial, a delicious pilsner-style lager, dethroned Bud Light as the best-selling beer in the U.S. last month. Interestingly, Anheuser-Busch InBev owns Grupo Modelo's beer portfolio — except in the U.S., where it is owned and controlled by New York-based Constellation Brands.

Bud Light's downfall — which includes cratering sales and a shrinking market cap — only began after its partnership with Mulvaney went public. But that did not stop CNN from blaming Modelo's rise on "changing tastes" and Cinco de Mayo.

"There are some changing tastes happening, and also, this is the month of May. There's Cinco de Mayo. There's also a really clever advertising promotion campaign from Modelo and changing tastes," reported CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans.

"Analysts tell us that already there's been an affinity, a growing affinity, for Mexican beer and spirits for some time now," Romans added. "So, that's sort of a tipping point that you're seeing here."

Romans, in fact, minimized the Mulvaney controversy as just "one other kind of factor" at play in Bud Light's downfall.

"Sales for Bud Light down more than 24% in the month — that is kind of a staggering number here," she said. "And for Modelo, sales up 12.2%. So, these numbers are telling a story. You mentioned the transgender influencer who had one can, one customized can of Bud Light and did an Instagram post and conservative media and conservative social media went on a very full, full, forceful boycott of the beer. And so, that is one other kind of factor here at play."

At the end of the report, Romans circled back to changing taste buds, connecting Bud Light's downfall to "years of declining tastes for light beer," while adding Bud Light's "social media fail" as an afterthought.

The Washington Post also this week attempted to downplay the relationship of Bud Light's rapid demise to the boycott. Like CNN, the newspaper also attributed Modelo's rise to long-term market trends.

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