July 12, 2024

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The maker of Bud Light has not fired its marketing team for LGBTQ ads

The maker of Bud Light has not fired its marketing team for LGBTQ ads

CLAIM: Anheuser-Busch brewing company launched its entire marketing department in response to its partnership with a transgender influencer and the introduction of LGBTQ Pride-themed Light Cans featuring different pronouns.

AP Rating: False. The claim about the marketing department was initially spread as satire but some social media users shared it as true. Anheuser-Busch confirmed in a statement that it did not fire its marketing team. What’s more, the cans were part of a limited launch marking Pride Month in 2022 in Canada, which is not related to the brand’s partnership with social media star Dylan Mulvaney.

The facts: The popular beer brand’s partnership with the influencer in recent days has sparked a wave of transphobic commentary among conservative social media figures, who have attacked the company for its supposed shift to “woke” advertising.

Mulvaney, who is he? Known for her famous series On TikTok documenting her gender transition, she first posted a sponsored Instagram reel on Saturday coinciding with the final days of the NCAA’s March Madness tournament.

In the video, Mulvaney opens a regular box of Bud Light, talks about March Madness, promotes the Bud Light contest and says the brand also sent her a special box with her face on it to celebrate the anniversary of documenting her transition.

Country musician Kid Rock soon got in, posting a video of himself wearing a “MAGA” hat while filming Gun In buds lite boxes. He and at least one other country musician claimed a brand boycott over the post.

Amidst the backlash, a satirical website ran a post claiming that Anheuser-Busch, the maker of the Bud Light, had fired the entire marketing team responsible for the moves. Some social media users have shared the information as if it were authentic, posting screenshots of the headline.

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Anheuser-Busch confirmed in a statement to the Associated Press Thursday that it did not fire its marketing team in response to Mulvaney’s sponsorship.

“There is no truth to this statement,” the company said, also emphasizing that a one-off that could be sent to Mulvaney and her face is not available for wider release.

“Anheuser-Busch works with hundreds of influencers across our brands as one of many ways to authentically connect with audiences across diverse demographics,” said the brand. “From time to time, we produce unique keepsake tins for fans and brand influencers, like Dylan Mulvaney. This keepsake can be a gift to celebrate a personal achievement and not for sale to the general public.”

Transphobic rhetoric multiplied online by others sharing photos of a year-old Canadian Bud campaign in order to claim the company also pivoted to Pride-themed cans adorned with rainbows and pronouns.

“In addition to having Dylan Mulvaney as BudLight’s new brand ambassador, the brand has also released special non-binary beers to ‘celebrate who everyone is’ featuring pronouns including ‘they/them’ and ‘xe xer,’” one user wrote on Sunday. ’, omitting to mention that the cans were part of an old campaign and limited to a single country.

These cans are not affiliated with Mulvaney, nor are they current or available everywhere. a May 2022 press release by Bud Light Canada to promote Pride Month’s initiatives that year, stating that they will be releasing “limited-edition inspired Pride Tins” as well as providing a total of $100,000 to various organizations supporting Canadian LGBTQ groups.

a 2022 Pride Month page On the Canadian version of their website it also says: “For more than 20 years, Bud Light has been a Pride partner, and this year, we’re celebrating the unique gender identities of many Canadians with our can design.”

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This is part of the AP’s efforts to tackle widely shared misinformation, including working with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content circulating online. Learn more about fact checking in the AP.