An Anheuser-Busch heir, Billy Busch, has voiced his disappointment with the current state of the company, suggesting that his ancestors, including co-founder Adolphus Busch, would have been more than disappointed with its recent decisions. In an interview with TMZ, Billy Busch expressed his view that the company’s recent ad campaign featuring transgender celebrity Dylan Mulvaney would not align with his family’s values.
According to Busch, his family’s belief was that personal matters like transgender issues should not be put on public display, particularly not on beer cans. He mentioned that his ancestors believed in personal freedom within the context of a free country, but they did not intend for such matters to be part of the branding strategy for their products. The campaign with Mulvaney has drawn widespread criticism and is seen by many as a misstep in the company’s marketing approach.
Anheuser-Busch’s partnership with Mulvaney led the company into financial trouble, with the decision to feature Mulvaney’s face on beer cans not resonating well with a significant portion of its customer base. The move was meant to be inclusive and appealing to younger generations, but it appears to have backfired, prompting strong reactions from those who found the campaign’s messaging inappropriate for a beer brand.
Billy Busch further explained that beer consumers, often hardworking blue-collar individuals, prefer their beverage to remain true to its American heritage and patriotic values. He emphasized that the message of the campaign does not align with what these consumers seek in their beer.
When questioned by Harvey Levin from TMZ about whether opposing the campaign could be considered prejudice, Busch maintained that it’s not about prejudice, but rather about aligning marketing with consumer preferences. He rejected the notion that opposition to the campaign is rooted in prejudice and emphasized the importance of freedom of speech and the right to express opinions about the direction a company takes with its branding.
In essence, Busch’s perspective highlights the need for companies to be attuned to the values and preferences of their customer base, especially in a highly competitive market. It also underscores the importance of maintaining a balance between inclusivity and the core identity that customers associate with a particular brand.