Bud Light faced a backlash over its campaign with a trans influencer. But a poll finds a majority of American beer drinkers support such campaigns.
Bud Light and its parent company faced boycott calls for partnering with Dylan Mulvaney.
A majority of surveyed American beer drinkers favor partnerships with trans influencers.
A majority of beer drinkers also favored brands hiring more inclusive talent, per Morning Consult.
Despite a recent backlash, a majority of US beer drinkers appear to approve of brands partnering with transgender influencers.
That's according to a new poll by Morning Consult that surveyed 4,401 people two weeks after Dylan Mulvaney, a trans influencer, announced her partnership with Bud Light on April 1.
Some right-wing groups — who have made transphobia a key part of their national message — immediately vilified Mulvaney, Bud Light, and its parent company, Anheuser-Busch, calling for mass boycotts.
Yet of the monthly beer drinkers that Morning Consult surveyed, 53% responded that they had a very favorable or somewhat favorable response to a brand hiring a transgender spokesperson.
Moreover, 61% of surveyed regular beer drinkers had a very favorable or somewhat favorable response to brands hiring more inclusive advertising talent.
The poll also asked respondents about their political affiliations. Some 66% of Democrats had favorable responses while 49% of Republicans had unfavorable responses.
That said, the results among Republicans were by no means unanimous, despite recent outrage from some who were unhappy about Bud Light's partnership with Mulvaney. About a quarter of those surveyed who identified as Republicans responded favorably to brands hiring transgender spokespeople.
Either way, Bud Light is still feeling the heat from the backlash.
Bud Light sales were down by 17% this week compared to the same time the previous year, and top marketing executives involved in the Mulvaney campaign at Bud Light and Anheuser-Busch took leaves of absence.
Mulvaney also partnered with Nike, prompting similar calls for a boycott. The company responded by saying it would not tolerate bullying or hate speech.
It's not the first boycott conservatives have launched, but it may — at least for now — be more successful than previous attempts. In 2018, conservatives called for boycotts of Nike after it partnered with the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Despite the noise, Nike later reported booming sales.
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