Credit: National Review
Anheuser-Busch InBev CEO Michel Doukeris Attempted to distance the company from the Bud-Light Dylan Mulvaney partnership. He said, “it was one post, not a formal campaign.”
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Doukeris made this statement on a first-quarter earnings call on Thursday. The audio was obtained by Fox Business. Doukeris downplayed the company’s involvement in the partnership, and he portrayed confidence it would not have a long-term impact on the company’s global operations.
The Belgium-based AB InBev is the world’s largest brewer and makes about a quarter of all beer globally.
“This was the result of one can. It was not made for production or sale to general public,” explained Doukeris about the Bud Light cans that had Mulvaney’s face on them.
The National Review reported:
According to the AB InBev CEO, the boycott from many Americans, including prominent ones like singer Kid Rock and Representative Dan Crenshaw (R., Texas) “has impacted our people and especially our front-line workers — the delivery drivers, sales representatives, wholesalers, bar owners, and servers.”
Doukeris said the company would work hard to protect these workers. The parent company is already offering every wholesaler employee a free case of beer. The CEO explained that when it comes “to Bud Light, we have significantly increased our investment behind the brand in the U.S. including tripling our media spend over the summer,” adding that “the beer itself should not be the focus of the debate.”
He also confirmed reports of sales plummeting, putting them in the context of global operations. Reports held that in-store sales of Bud Light dropped 26 percent in the final week of April.
“The Bud Light decline in the U.S. over the first three weeks in April, as publicly reported, would represent about 1 percent of our overall global volumes for that period,” said Doukeris.
“As CEO, I’m accountable for our results in this company and our shareholders and stakeholders.”
Doukeris also explained that Anheuser-Busch has faced challenges over the years and this one is no different.
“Over the years, our global footprint has enabled us to successfully navigate certain challenges such as temporary bans on beer sales in certain countries and the months-long shutdown of bars and restaurants throughout the globe,” he said.
Doukeris also added that while it’s too early to know the full impact on sales given the timeframe, he said “in the context of our global business we believe we have the resources and the partners to manage this.”
“Bud Light is very important to our U.S. business,” he said.
National Review also shared:
AB InBev’s beer sales were 0.4 percent higher overall in the first quarter than a year ago, Reuters reported, though only because of a sharp rise in the Asia-Pacific region as China steadily rolled back its COVID-19 restrictions. However, revenues overall rose sharply as the company pushed through price increases and some consumers switched to more expensive beers or formats. AB InBev’s core profit rose by 13.6 percent compared with the 5.6 percent average increase expected in a company-compiled poll.