Former Anheuser-Busch executive Anson Frericks weighed in on the recent Bud Light controversy, saying he doesn’t think anyone is “necessarily happy” after a “traditionally apolitical” brand partnered with activist and transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.

Bud Light, a famous beer brand whose parent company is Anheuser-Busch, came under fire from conservatives after Mulvaney shared a sponsored video on his Instagram account announcing that Bud Light had sent him a beer can personalized with his face on it. The can of beer was sent to Mulvaney in celebration of his first anniversary since his transition, but the company’s support of Mulvaney received backlash from some conservatives who took the post personally and boycotted the product in response. .

Alissa Heinerscheid, the company’s vice president of marketing behind the Bud Light ad campaign with Mulvaney, took a “leave of absence” this week after the ad outraged conservatives and MAGA supporters.

in a sunday interview With the conservative Fox News network, Frericks criticized the company’s direction in serving its customer base. He said he doesn’t think anyone is “necessarily happy” with Bud Light, a “traditionally apolitical brand” associated with Mulvaney, whom he called “highly controversial.”

Former Anheuser-Busch exec reacts to Bud Light controversy
Above, a sign disparaging Bud Light beer is seen along a country road on April 21 in Arco, Idaho. Former Anheuser-Busch executive Anson Frericks weighed in on the Bud Light controversy, saying he doesn’t think anyone is “necessarily happy” after a “traditionally apolitical” brand partnered with activist and transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
Photo by Natalie Behring/Getty Images

Frericks worked at Anheuser-Busch for almost 11 years, and is now co-founder and chairman of Strive Asset Management, an asset management company focused on a mission to “restore the voices of ordinary citizens in the American economy by guiding businesses to focus on excellence over politics.”

The former Anheuser-Busch executive ruled out the possibility that customers who rejected the brand would forget about this controversy and go back to consuming Bud Light again.

“That’s the bet they [Anheuser-Busch] They are doing. I think that’s the wrong bet and I think now is the time to go back… to say ‘hey, in the future, for brands like Bud Light, we’re not going to be political. We are not going to get involved in the environmental social governance movement because that is not what the client wants,” he said on Fox News.

He continued: “What the customer wants with Bud Light is things that bring us together. They want humor…they want football, they want the things that bring us together…not necessarily for Bud Light to be involved.” in political controversies.

Frericks also spoke about how the company is not valuing shareholders over stakeholders, a matter he detailed in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece posted on Thursday.

“Anheuser-Busch is losing customers because of Bud Light’s association with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney, but the company’s problem is more fundamental. The brewer has aligned itself with other companies involved in ‘stakeholder capitalism,’ that prioritizes broad social issues over shareholder value,” he wrote in the opinion piece.

He added that this was not the case when he worked at the company, explaining that the firm focused on increasing shareholder value by partially branding Bud Light as a “high quality” and “resolutely apolitical” product.

When asked about the management changes, an Anheuser-Busch spokesperson said news week on Saturday that the company is taking steps to help keep the focus on “the things we do best: making great beer for all consumers, while always making a positive impact in our communities and our country.”

However, Frericks warned on Sunday against companies engaging in “stakeholder capitalism,” which, he explained, would occur when a company is held accountable to different stakeholders, such as political organizations and activists, through the implementation of Environmental Social Governance (ESG) policies.

“Unfortunately, when you try to be everything to everyone, you end up answering to no one,” he said on Fox News.

news week contacted the Anheuser-Busch press team by email for comment.

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