Consumers in the US are pushing back against companies promoting woke ideology, leading to a growing backlash. Reports suggest that customers are increasingly rejecting brands that promote political views.
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It’s likely true: No executives at Anheuser-Busch knew what the Bud Light marketing people were planning when they decided to deploy an absurdist and deeply offensive transgender TikTok influencer to sell their beer. But soon after it happened, public disgust became rather obvious. The crisis began, but for weeks, the company was in denial.
Finally, the CEO made a statement that only infuriated people more, simply because it wasn’t an apology or even an honest admission of anything that was happening. It had that sterilized and robotic quality we’ve come to associate with government statements that pretend that all is well when everyone knows it isn’t.
Two weeks ago, the line about Bud Light on the streets was that the consumer protest would run the news cycle and then disappear, that the protests were limited to the “far right” and “conservative activists” but that most consumers don’t care either way. Every story in the mainstream media said the same thing. They further suggested that if you don’t drink Bud Light, you are likely a dupe of dangerous fanatics.
But here we are three weeks later and finally, the company stepped up again to address the growing meltdown. They put both the vice president of marketing and her boss “on leave,” which one supposes is a way of firing them while minimizing the legal liabilities and the sense that the company was facing a real crisis.
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“Given the circumstances, Alissa [Heinerscheid] has decided to take a leave of absence which we support,” an Anheuser-Busch spokeswoman wrote in an email to The Wall Street Journal. “Daniel [Blake] has also decided to take a leave of absence.”
I just love that “given the circumstances” line.
This move of course has satisfied no one, fed the news cycle even more, and further entrenched the consumer boycott that has spread to all the company’s brands.
Do you see what is happening here? We are watching the rise of genuine consumer awareness and hence sovereignty. The public is finally fighting back.
Only a few years ago, politics was pretty well kept out of economics and marketing. We could have our differences over ideology but they didn’t invade our commercial spaces. For decades, if not centuries, the market has largely operated outside of the poison of politics, or at the very least, large companies pretended to be neutral in order to maximize their public reach.
The Daily Wire reported that Anheuser-Busch lost $6 billion in six days after a trans ad campaign partnering with 26-year-old transgender ‘influencer’ Dylan Mulvaney, which top executives never approved.