June 6, 2023

Bud Light is planning a major marketing blitz after sales were slashed by an ill-fated partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney — and the company is promising beer distributors there won’t be another mistake, The Post has learned.

At a behind-closed-door meeting this week in Washington, D.C., Anheuser-Busch executives told U.S. beer distributors that they will “spend heavily on the brand after spending fell off a cliff last year,” Beer editor Benj Steinman told me. Marketer’s Insights, to The Na.

Bud executives said at Monday’s meeting that the new marketing campaign will begin this week, Steinman said, as the beer giant tries to undo the damage from the controversial Mulvaney campaign, which sent Bud Light sales down 17% in the week that followed. ended on April 15. .

Anheuser-Busch “promised to spend a lot of money on Bud Light [marketing] this spring and summer, starting with a big push this week for the NFL draft,” Steinman wrote Wednesday in a report to clients received by The Post.

The company has been tight-lipped since April 1, when 26-year-old Mulvaney posted videos to social media of her drinking Bud Light in a bubble bath and showing off a commemorative can of Bud Light with her image on it to celebrate her. first year as a woman.

Dylan Mulvaney with a can of Bud Light
Dylan Mulvaney, 26, posted videos to social media of her swallowing Bud Light in a hot tub.
Dylan Mulvaney/Instagram

But during a series of private Zoom meetings with U.S. beer distributors this month, Bud has promised “there will be an improved screening process before marketing reaches the public,” a Northeast-based distributor told The Post.

“Executives will have to go through a stricter screening process,” said the distributor, citing Bud execs’ briefings at Zoom meetings this month.

That’s after Anheuser-Busch revealed earlier this week that two marketing executives overseeing Bud Light — the brand’s vice president of marketing Alissa Heinerscheid and her boss, Daniel Blake — have been sent on leave as the brand scrambles to clean up the mess. to clean up.

On Tuesday, Anheuser-Busch gave wholesalers a conversation-packed letter designed to be shared with their retail customers to clear up the “confusion” and “misinformation” surrounding the Mulvaney controversy, according to Beer Business Daily.

“This was one can given to one social media influencer,” Anheuser-Busch said in the letter, adding, “This can was not made for production or sale to the general public,” nor was it “a formal campaign or advertisement”.

Alissa Heinerscheid, vice president of marketing
Vice President of Marketing Alissa Heinerschied was sent on leave.

Bud Light cans and money
In a closed-door meeting this week, Anheuser-Busch executives told U.S. beer distributors that they will “spend heavily on the brand.”
Christopher Sadowski

“Bud Light’s official campaign is ‘Easy to Drink, Easy to Enjoy,'” the letter said.

“You may have seen our ad during the Super Bowl.”

“Our new Vice President of Bud Light [Todd Allen] and all of us at Anheuser-Busch are committed to reminding all of our consumers why they love Bud Light and why they’ve made it America’s #1 beer,” the letter added.

Bud Light, the largest beer brand in the US, has been losing market share for years as Anheuser-Busch slashed spending on the brand, according to industry experts.

Last year, the company spent just $10 million marketing Bud Light from January to July, compared to $183 million in 2018.

Bud Light spending was $125 million in 2019 and then declined to $76 million and $57 million in 2020 and 2021, respectively, according to Beer Marketer’s Insights, which cited data from Kantar.

Buf Light can with Dylan Mulvaney on it
Anheuser-Busch provided wholesalers with a letter full of talking points intended to share with their retail customers to clear up the “confusion” and “misinformation” surrounding the Mulvaney controversy.
Dylan Mulvaney/Instagram

However, other than a promise to reverse falling spending, Bud gave few details about his plans at Monday’s meeting in Washington, according to sources.

That’s despite backlash that includes bar brawls, brewery bomb threats and event cancellations featuring Bud’s iconic Clydesdale horses.

The meeting was not as productive and the distributors were hoping for more concrete plans” to stop the backlash against Bud Light, Steinman said. “They want to put this behind them.”

In fact, many of Anheuser-Busch’s 400 distributors left the meeting frustrated that Anheuser-Busch never apologized for “what they went through and the lost business they faced,” according to a report from another industry newsletter. , Bear Business daily.

“Wholesalers have long felt that Anheuser-Busch was too focused on innovation and not enough on their bread-and-butter brands,” said Steinmann.

Some Bud Light drinkers were also outraged by what they said was a non-apology from Anheuser-Busch InBev CEO Brendan Whitworth, who said in an April 14 statement: “It was never our intention to be part of a discussion that divides people…

“It is our job to bring people together over a beer.”

Dylan Mulvaney promotes Bud Light
Last year, the company spent just $10 million marketing Bud Light from January to July, compared to $183 million in 2018.

That’s after Heinerscheid previously called Bud Light “a brand of frills, kind of out-of-touch humor” that needed a revamp to appeal to a new generation of “young drinkers.”

“I hope the message, however they deliver it, reaches the retailer and the consumer because we’re starting to feel the impact,” said the northeast-based distributor, who asked not to be identified.