Kid Rock, the outspoken musician, has decided to end his boycott of Bud Light, signaling a shift in his stance towards the beer brand. Initially, Rock was among the first to boycott Bud Light following its short-lived partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, a move that resulted in a sharp decline in the brand’s sales.
In a conversation with Tucker Carlson, Kid Rock reflected on the impact of his boycott, saying, “Bud Light deserved a black eye and they got one.” He then expressed his decision to move on from the boycott, noting, “So, do I want to hold their head underwater and drown them because they made a mistake? No, I think they got the message.”
This change of heart might be a positive development for Bud Light, which has seen its sales plummet since the backlash began in April. The controversy surrounding the Mulvaney partnership not only drove away core customers but also led to a clumsy response that further alienated both supporters and the LGBTQ community.
Despite various promotional efforts, including discounts and new ad campaigns, Bud Light’s weekly sales are still down by about 30%, as per Beer Business Daily’s scan data.
Kid Rock’s initial reaction to the partnership was dramatic and targeted. In April, he posted a video of himself shooting at Bud Light cases with a machine gun, accompanied by a profanity-laced message. He explained to Carlson that the video was a form of marketing to his light beer-drinking audience and a statement against the brand’s actions.
Interestingly, a visit by CNN to Rock’s Nashville bar during the summer revealed Bud Light was still being served, despite his declared boycott. Additionally, TMZ obtained pictures of Rock drinking Bud Light in August.
Rock’s recent remarks to Carlson suggest a more conciliatory tone: “Hopefully, other companies get it too, but you know, at the end of the day, I don’t think the punishment that they’ve been getting at this point fits the crime,” he said. “I would like to see people get us back on board and become bigger because that’s the America that I want to live in.”
In the midst of these developments, Anheuser-Busch InBev announced the resignation of its US chief marketing officer, Benoit Garbe, at the end of the year. A-B US CEO Brendan Whitworth stated that this executive reshuffling aims to “reduce layers within our organization and better enable our top commercial leaders to drive our business and legacy forward.”
The company’s recent earnings report indicated a nearly 17% decline in sales to US retailers, primarily attributed to the decrease in Bud Light’s volume. However, the brand remains hopeful, as the company noted on an analyst call that over 40% of lapsed Bud Light customers are open to reconsidering the brand.