September 24, 2023

A prominent brand strategist has said that the response to the allegations “couldn’t be more different” from the way Bud Light has handled its own controversy, with Miller Lite recently “waking up” with an advertising campaign.

Kelly O’Keefe, founding partner of Brand Federation, who advises companies including Capital One, Walmart and UPS, told newsweek That Bud Light’s response only increased the controversy surrounding the brand, while Miller Light’s defense saw “very little pushback”. He predicted: “A year from now, you’ll see Miller Light doing far better than Bud Light.”

Miller Lite is the latest beverage brand to face calls for a boycott by conservatives on social media, following an ad this week — first announced in March — that celebrated women’s historic role in brewing beer for Women’s History Month .

The company said that the beer industry had “alienated a lot of the people who helped create it” with “outdated” and “sexist” advertising, including some that the company had produced in the past. The commercial featured comedian Ilana Glazer toppling a Miller Lite poster, which featured a scantily clad woman in a garbage can.

O’Keefe said, “The Miller Lite campaign predates Bud Light, so it’s clearly not a response to Bud Light, but the difference is in the way organizations have responded to some of the pushback.” Couldn’t be more different.” newsweek,

He added, “Bud Light and their leadership—including CEO Brendan Whitworth—made a tragic mistake, I think, in trying to hold both sides and failing miserably at it.”

Bud Light and its parent company Anheuser-Busch, of which Whitworth is the US CEO, have been facing backlash since early April after the beer brand featured transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney to celebrate his first year of transition to a woman. A memorial was sent to Cain.

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While experts have said that such campaigns provide an opportunity for brands to appeal to consumers in new markets, critics have accused the companies of alienating their traditional customer base. Some LGBTQ+ campaigners have also criticized the company for not defending its relationship with Mulvaney.