From PinkNews because I won’t be linking to stories about it from Fox or New York Post or CNN – let’s donate those clicks to friendly, progressive media that are not eager to camouflage the fascists:
From [the right-wing fury]according to The New York Post, parent company Anheuser-Busch, held a meeting to discuss how to handle the backlash, deciding on a temporary redesign of Bud Light and Budweiser aluminum bottles.
An unnamed source revealed that the bottles would have a camouflage print and display images of the US “Folds of Honor”, an organization that provides scholarships to the spouses and children of dead or disabled US service members.
Citing information from Bump Williams Consulting and data from NielsenIQ, the New York Post said Bud Light has faced a significant drop in sales since the collaboration, with numbers down 23.6% over the week. ending May 6, compared to a year ago.
According to the New York Post (which we won’t link to), other marketing initiatives will likely include “beer discounts at retail stores and investing heavily in sports marketing, and incorporating the U.S. military and country and western music, farmers, law enforcement, and first responders into their advertising. Oh yes. Finally, an outpouring of MAGA love and sunshine worthy of Tucker Carlson’s testicles.
And don’t get me wrong: Folds of Honor sounds like a great organization, and it’s good that Anheuser-Busch is amplifying its work, but it’s a bit disconcerting that they’re using a charity to mask their original membership (and legitimate) to diversity. (Psst, guys. You were right the first time around.) It’s also weird to think that brewer’s marketers think camouflaging is the opposite of trans inclusiveness.
But are they wrong?
RELATED STORY: Fox News’ Bud Light ad is far more important than Clarence Thomas’ ethics
Of course, the MAGAs would have finally forgotten all about the Bud Light affair after launching a boycott of Game Show Network after discovering that Paul Lynde central square has always been gay, but a 23% drop in sales East quite significant.
And then there’s Senator Ted Cruz’s latest headline-grabbing antics: wasting taxpayers’ money on an investigation of the brewer. Senator Marsha Blackburn joins this effort, because of course she does.
MSNBC’s Steve Benen notes that it’s really just that: Cruz (and Blackburn) chasing conservative influence.
Cruz and Blackburn seem to believe that they are launching a real investigation. Their letter to the CEO of Anheuser-Busch said Bud Light’s partnership with a trans influencer “warrants detailed congressional scrutiny” — no, seriously, he said — and to that end, the senators made a series of requests for documents.
Certainly, the beer company can ignore these demands: Cruz is unable to issue subpoenas or call hearings because, at least for now, there is a Democratic majority in the Senate. Cruz’s “investigation” has all the legal weight of an offhand comment made on his podcast three times a week – that is, it has no legal weight.
But stunts like these tell us a lot about who Cruz is, what he values, who he chooses to fight with, and how he tries to abuse the power the Texans have given him.
Meanwhile, back in the real world, there’s something to be said for staying on principle and not appealing to your customers’ worst impulses. For example, Miller Lite is suddenly facing a backlash over this Women’s History Month ad from March that some conservatives, looking for their next viral outrage, have just discovered and are considering too “woke”.
But Miller is holding on instead of cowering, and according to at least one expert, his decision could give him a long-term head start.
Days before rumors of the Budweiser/Bud Light cover-up campaign, as rage over the months-old Miller ad took hold, Newsweek spoke with Kelly O’Keefea leading brand strategist and founding partner of Brand Federation. O’Keefe pointed out the difference in the two companies’ approaches to their respective controversies. On the one hand, Anheuser-Busch furloughed two marketing executives involved in the Mulvaney campaign – it ‘was not intentional’—while Miller stood with his people.
“Bud Light and their leaders, including down to CEO Brendan Whitworth, made a tragic mistake, I think, in trying to hold on to both sides and failing miserably,” he added.
Tuesday, Adam Collins, head of communications and corporate affairs for Molson Coors, said Newsweek“People may challenge our advertisements or our brands, but we will not sit idly by while people personally attack our employees, especially since these are business decisions and they are not never taken by one person.”
“What we saw [with] Miller Lite, and in particular Adam Collins, have rightly championed Elizabeth Hitch and her work creating advertisements that – shock of all shocks – celebrate women and their role in beer making in history during national women’s month,” O’Keefe remarked. “So I think the responses have been significantly different, and I think the outcome will be significantly different. I would expect Miller Lite to have very little recoil because of this. I think they correctly identified that there were few people complaining about it.”
It’s likely that MAGAs would have eventually moved on to another scandal and taken over Bud Light (or Miller Lite) during the The NFL games they swore never to watch again, but LGBTQ+ people probably have longer memories. Earlier this month, reports surfaced of boycotts in response to Anheuser-Busch’s decision to abandon the LGBTQ+ community.
Ultimately, Anheuser-Busch can do whatever it wants, but there’s value in falling on the right side of history. After all, young people generally support the LGBTQ+ community and their right to exist (and don’t vote for far-right fanatics like Cruz and Blackburn). They’ll be drinking beer long after fanatics start making keg stands with it. Anita Bryant in hell.
RELATED STORY: Don Jr. and the NRCC decide Bud Light is fine after discovering how Anheuser Busch donates to the GOP
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