Anheuser-Busch InBev stock closed a $53.40, down $1.06 or 1.95%, in New York Stock Exchange trading Wednesday. It's previous high was $66.99 on March 31, so the stock has fallen $13.59, or 20.3% below the March 31 high.
That's a stunning 20.2% drip, almost all of which can be attributed to the controversy over the promotional partnership Bud Light had with Dylan Mulvaney, a translesbian influencer. Bud Light's marketing team sent Mulvaney a souvenir can with her image on it, and A-B execs said it was only one can, and it was never intended to be stocked in the normal outlets for Bud Light.
Bank of America says the consumer backlash has spread to other A-B beers. In the four weeks ended May 30, Bud Light volume was down 28%; Budweiser fell 16%; Busch, 12% and Michelob Ultra, 10%.
A-B CEO Brendan Whitworth issued a statement saying, "We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people. We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer."
ABI isn't the only company to take a hit from the U.S. culture wars. Target has taken a hit to its sales for selling "Pride" clothing. So have Kohl's and The North Face Walt Disney is in a fight with Ron DeSantis because it opposed a bill he supported regulating what can be taught about sex in classrooms.
Just to make the point that it's not backing down, Bud Light issued a press release that it was once again partnering with the National LBGTQ+ Chamber of Commerce, this year with a $200,000 donation supporting the National LBGTQ Chamber of Commerce Communities of Color Initiative, which seeks o support minority LGBTQ+ owned businesses through certification, scholarships and business development in an effort to create equal opportunities for the economic advancement of small businesses in the LGBTQ+ community.
Bud Light also will be supporting NGLCC’s first-ever CoCi Biz Pitch program, where the winning minority LGBTQ+ business owner will receive $5,000 and have the chance to go on to compete at the 2023 NGLCC International Business & Leadership Conference LGBT Biz Pitch Competition for $50,000 in cash and prizes.