Anheuser-Busch, the parent firm of the troubled beer brand Bud Light, has engaged seasoned Republican lobbyists to win back conservatives angered by the business’s collaboration with Dylan Mulvaney.
Bud Light’s sales have plummeted in recent weeks after officials teamed with Mulvaney, a male who claims to be a woman and has documented his alleged gender transition on social media. According to a document submitted under the Lobbying Disclosure Act, Anheuser-Busch engaged two lobbyists with the Origin Advocacy to speak with legislators about “general policy pertaining to the alcohol-beverage sector.”
Sean McLean was listed in the disclosure as an individual “who has acted or is anticipated to serve as a lobbyist” for Anheuser-Busch. He previously worked as an associate director for the White House underneath former President Trump, in addition to being a legislative director for Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) when she was a member of the House. The declaration also included Emily Lynch, who served as a legislative assistant for former Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) along with Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC).
The American Accountability Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to conservative research and government oversight, alerted congressional staffers in an email that was obtained by The Daily Wire that lobbyists were “making the rounds” in an effort to “red-wash Bud Light’s catastrophic choice to form a partnership with a male acting like he was a woman while telling you that the business actually respects conservative values.” According to the lobbyists, the commemorative Bud Light cans commemorating Mulvaney are akin to a previous initiative honoring World War II heroes.
According to Thomas Jones, the founder, and CEO of the American Accountability Foundation, “This is precisely the type of behavior that the American people despise—telling individuals that you are a rock-ribbed conservative one moment then going on to shilling for a business who is actively involved in destroying the principles that Americans embrace the next when you are able to make buckets of money doing it.”
The lobbying campaign comes as Anheuser-Busch faces a conservative backlash that has resulted in lower financial results. Sales of draft beer products offered by Anheuser-Busch decreased by up to 50% in the immediate aftermath of the marketing effort and have continued to fall in the weeks thereafter as beer fans seek alternatives.
Alissa Heinerscheid, a Bud Light marketing executive who was in charge of the Mulvaney effort and is now on leave, had indicated that she sought to modify Bud Light’s “fratty” brand image and add more “inclusivity” to the beer.
Other Bud Light brand managers have also failed to make apologies to customers who have been unfairly alienated by the association with Mulvaney. In response to the scandal, Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth made a statement but did not identify Mulvaney or even apologize to customers.
The CEO stated, “We did not intend to be a part of a conversation that divides people. We are in the business of connecting people over a beer.”