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‘Go Woke, Go Broke’: Mass Layoffs Announced After Trans Controversy Sparks Bud Light Boycott

Anheuser-Busch, the beer manufacturing titan, announced plans to lay off a portion of its workforce on Thursday amidst a protracted boycott against Bud Light. The boycott began following Bud Light’s decision to sponsor transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney earlier this year.

Anheuser-Busch informed CNN and other media outlets that it would be eliminating some corporate roles and restructuring its organization to reduce and streamline hierarchical levels. The company didn’t disclose more specifics but stated that the cuts would not affect frontline workers, such as those working in breweries and warehouses, drivers, and field sales representatives, among others.

The announcement did not clarify if the job cuts would influence Bud Light’s corporate team. However, the company indicated that the reductions would account for “less than 2%” of its US workforce. It is suggested that around 380 of Anheuser-Busch’s 19,000 employees across the US would be laid off.

“Today, we have made the challenging yet crucial decision to cut a number of positions across our corporate structure,” said Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth on Thursday. “Though we don’t take such decisions lightly, we aim to ensure our organization remains primed for long-term success.”

Whitworth reported that the job cuts would involve corporate and marketing roles at U.S. offices in St. Louis, New York, and Los Angeles, as per the Wall Street Journal.

Bud Light’s sales have seen a consistent year-over-year decline in recent weeks and months. In May and June, Bud Light lost its top sales spot to Modelo Especial, a beer owned by Constellation Brands.

The controversy began when Bud Light produced a beer can for Dylvan Mulvaney, a transgender activist and TikTok influencer, who showcased the cans prominently on social media during an NCAA basketball tournament promotion. This move incited outrage among conservative influencers, celebrities, and news outlets, leading to calls for a brand boycott.

Following the ad campaign controversy, Anheuser-Busch confirmed it had suspended two employees, Alissa Heinerscheid, Bud Light’s vice president of marketing, and Daniel Blake, Budweiser’s marketing vice president.

According to NielsenIQ sales data, Bud Light sales dropped by 26.1% in a single week ending July 15, and volume fell by 29.7%, marking a more significant decline than the preceding week.

Other beer brands such as Miller Lite, Coors Light, Yuengling, and Modelo have increasingly claimed Bud Light’s market share. Data compiled by Bump Williams Consulting indicates that, since April, Yuengling Light Lager has witnessed an 89.3% sales increase year-over-year for the week ending July 9.

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