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AB InBev announces new ad campaign as Bud Light sales continue to crater

Bud Light’s parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) is out with a new ad campaign highlighting the workers behind its products as sales continue to take a hit following its campaign with influencer Dylan Mulvaney earlier this year.

On Wednesday, the beer giant announced the new campaign, called “That’s Who We Are.” The first ad, dubbed “We Make the Beer,” includes a 30-second and 60-second spot that features more than 140 Anheuser-Busch employees, growers, wholesalers, and partners in the campaign’s ad.

AB InBev’s Bud Light brand lost its top spot in the US beer market to Constellation Brands’ (STZ) Modelo and is now going into its third month of declining sales following its partnership Mulvaney, a transgender influencer and TikTok personality, which prompted a boycott among certain US consumers.

In the week ending June 17, sales of Bud Light declined 28.5%, according to Nielsen data received from Bump Williams Consulting. That’s an acceleration from the 26.8% decline seen in the week prior.

Volumes were also down 31.1% compared to a 30.3% decline the week before.

Bud Light cans are seen in the store in Montreal, Canada on June 16, 2023. (Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Anheuser-Busch’s other brands have also felt the impact.

In that same week, Michelob Ultra volumes were down 7.2% for the week ending June 17 compared to a 6.1% drop the week prior. Busch Light saw a 13.7% drop in volumes, more than the 10.3% decline seen the prior week. Budweiser volumes fell 15.5%.

Industry volumes were also down, falling 6.2% for the week.

Since the boycott began, shares of Anheuser-Busch are down more than 15%.

Analysts at Evercore ISI wrote in a note to clients this week that while “tracked channels may be reaching a point of stabilization at significantly lower levels for Anheuser-Busch than prior to the controversy, Bud Light volumes continue to weaken.”

If the sales impacts continue, however, Evercore ISI believes firmer action may be needed to recoup this spring’s declines.

“Continued weakness begs the question of whether Anheuser-Busch and/or its distributors will have to make structural changes to reduce their cost basis if trends don’t improve over the next few months,” the firm wrote.

Volumes across AB InBev’s portfolio continue to drop, with Bud Light seeing the biggest decline. (Source: Evercore ISI)

Anheuser-Busch US CEO Brendan Whitworth — who recently came out with a memo highlighting three action items to “move” the business forward — said in a release Wednesday, “Our commitment to our amazing network has never wavered — it has only grown stronger…it’s time to recognize and salute the people behind the scenes that drive our industry forward. Because to put it simply, that’s who we are.”

Brooke DiPalma is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @BrookeDiPalma or email her at [email protected].

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