An independent Anheuser-Busch beer distributor based in Alabama is asking locals to consider him and his employees when they decide to pass on the company’s beers amid a nationwide boycott.
Corporate leadership has made the decision to not directly address Bud Light’s partnership with transgender social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
Two weeks into the backlash, CEO Brendan Whitworth released a statement that mentioned the company’s thousands of employees but did not directly address Mulvaney.
“We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people,” Whitworth said. “We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer.”
Five weeks later, the company has reportedly made several shuffles in its marketing department. But sales of Bud Light are down while a boycott of the beer has driven AB InBev’s stock price down almost 10 points throughout the last six weeks.
The New York Post reported Bud Light sales were down nationally by almost 24 percent during the week that ended May 6 when compared to a year before.
People who rely on selling Anheuser-Busch products to make their living are feeling the pinch.
Bama Budweiser vice president and general manager Steve Tatum recorded a radio ad that has been playing on 10 stations across the state, and it asks beer drinkers to think of his employees.
“We too at Bama Budweiser are upset about [the Mulvaney partnership] and have made our feelings known to the top leadership at Anheuser-Busch,” Tatum says in a 60-second ad, AL.com reported.
He continues, “The voice of the consumer has been heard, and Anheuser-Busch has taken action.”
In an appeal to Alabama beer drinkers who were put off by Mulvaney’s face on a Bud Light can, Tatum said the partnership was a mistake and asked them to think of the people who rely on sales of the beer to survive.
“We at Bama Budweiser, an independent wholesaler, employ around 100 people who live here, work here, and our children go to school here,” he says in the ad.
“We do not, and as I said before, did not support this issue involving Dylan Mulvaney. There was one single can made. It was not for sale and wasn’t properly approved. As a result, the Bud Light brand has new leadership.”
Tatum concludes in the radio spot:
“Dylan Mulvaney is not under contract with Bud Light. The videos you may have seen are Mulvaney’s own social media posts that went viral and many web-based news outlets have distorted the story.
You deserve to know the truth, and life is too short to let a couple of individuals decide what you can eat or drink or spend your hard-earned money on. And remember, making friends is our business, not enemies.”
AL.com shared Tatum’s message on its Facebook page, where many people appeared sympathetic to the position the company put him and his employees in.
But many people who commented appeared committed to moving on from the brand.
One commenter wrote, “Sorry, but AB employees need to look for work. Don’t stop the boycott until AB is out of business. Enough is enough!”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.