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Kid Rock says he's ending Bud Light boycott

The 52-year-old artist said the brand "made a mistake" by partnering with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney but believes "they got the message."
Kid Rock says he's ending Bud Light boycott
Posted at 10:46 AM, Dec 13, 2023

It appears Kid Rock is changing his stance on Bud Light after the musician boycotted the company over its decision to partner with trangender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. 

On former Fox News host Tucker Carlson's show on X — the site formerly known as Twitter — Rock said "at the end of the day when you step back and look at it, like yeah, they [Bud Light] deserved a black eye and they got one. They made a mistake." But the artist went on to say that his boycott of the brand was never meant to last a lifetime.

"Yes, it was a mistake," he said. "So do I want to hold their head under water and drown them because they made a mistake? No, I think they got the message."

The 52-year-old musician became one of the most prominent celebrities to publicly criticize Bud Light and its parent company Anheuser-Busch earlier this year after it partnered with Mulvaney. In April, The 26-year-old transgender woman touted a Bud Light can with her picture on it and said the company sent it to her as she celebrated "day 365 of womanhood."

In a video posted later online, Rock was seen shooting cases of the popular beer with a machine gun and saying "f*** Bud Light and f*** Anheuser-Busch."

He told Carlson that the video was "marketing to his folks" and was intended to "make a statement that a lot of us aren't cool with this." But it prompted a nationwide boycott among mostly conservatives that led to a massive falloff in Bud Light sales — with the brand losing its spot as the nation's best-selling beer after holding that title for more than two decades.

SEE MORE: What lessons should brands take away from the 'Bud Light Effect'?

"They screwed up, they made a mistake. I'm over it," Rock noted in his interview. "I'm not the type of person to kick a man when he's down."

In the second quarter of this year, Anheauser-Busch said its U.S. revenue dropped 10.5% from the same period a year earlier. But the company defended its decision to partner with Mulvaney, despite later announcing that two marketing executives who oversaw the partnership were placed on a leave of absence. 

In the months since, Anheuser-Busch has attempted to save its top brand and in October announced it had struck a massive multi-year deal to again make Bud Light the official beer partner of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.  Bud Light was the UFC's partner in the U.S. from 2008 through 2017, until rival Modelo took over. Now the company will be taking that role back in a deal that's expected to be worth north of $100 million.

In a separate interview with Carlson earlier this week, UFC president and CEO Dana White aligned with Rock's comments and defended the brand against recent backlash it's faced.

"They [Anheuser Busch] are way more aligned with you than most of these other beer companies are. That I guarantee you," White said. "Take it from somebody who's in the know, who does business with beer companies. You are way more aligned with Bud Light than you are with any other beer company."

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