Anheuser-Busch insiders reported that “no one at the senior level” was aware of or approved a partnership with transgender activist and social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney, according to the Daily Wire.
Controversy erupted earlier this month when Mulvaney posted on Instagram that Bud Light had sent “the best gift ever: a can with my face on it.”
The collaboration between Bud Light and Mulvaney was to promote a March Madness contest. However, it was initially unclear if the partnership was genuine since Mulvaney posted the update on April Fools' Day, and Bud Light’s social media pages did not mention any campaign with Mulvaney.
Two anonymous insider sources close to the situation told the outlet that the decision to have Mulvaney promote Bud Light was a “mistake.”
“No one at a senior level was aware this was happening,” one source told the Daily Wire. “Some low-level marketing staffer who helps manage the hundreds of influencer engagements they do must have thought it was no big deal. Obviously it was, and it’s a shame because they have a well-earned reputation for just being America’s beer — not a political company. It was a mistake.”
A second source confirmed to the Daily Wire that a lower-level employee was responsible for the Mulvaney partnership.
Conservative influencer DC Draino, whose real name is Rogan O’Handley, similarly stated earlier this month that an insider reported senior executives were unaware of the paid partnership and were “angry” that Bud Light released a can with a picture of Mulvaney on it.
Anheuser-Busch employees have donated more funds to Republican candidates than Democrats, according to OpenSecrets. The company has donated to both parties; however, in 2022, it donated more to Republicans.
John Cardillo, a former Newsmax host, also noted that the rumors appeared accurate in an April 6 Twitter post.
Cardillo wrote, “As I’ve been digging into this, I’m finding this to be 100% true. @AnheuserBusch has donated far more to GOP candidates than Dems, and FAR more than woke @MolsonCoors. Looks like the Dylan Mulvaney campaign was not approved by senior execs. Heads should roll.”
According to the Daily Wire’s report, the company is allegedly pausing its marketing efforts to re-evaluate its partnership process.
Since the announcement of the Mulvaney campaign, Anheuser-Busch’s value has reportedly plummeted by more than $5 billion, and the company’s shares have dropped nearly 4%, the New York Post reported.
Anheuser-Busch did not respond to a request for comment, the Post reported.
The company's CEO Brendan Whitworth released a statement Friday addressing the controversy:
As the CEO of a company founded in America’s heartland more than 165 years ago, I am responsible for ensuring every consumer feels proud of the beer we brew.
We’re honored to be part of the fabric of this country. Anheuser-Busch employs more than 18,000 people and our independent distributors employ an additional 47,000 valued colleagues. 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. We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer.
My time serving this country taught me the importance of accountability and the values upon which America was founded: freedom, hard work and respect for one another. As CEO of Anheuser-Busch, I am focused on building and protecting our remarkable history and heritage.
I care deeply about this country, this company, our brands and our partners. I spend much of my time traveling across America, listening to and learning from our customers, distributors and others.
Moving forward, I will continue to work tirelessly to bring great beers to consumers across our nation.
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