Bad News for Bill Gates

By: Lauren | Last updated: Oct 17, 2023

While millions of Americans have distanced themselves from Bud Light after a controversial ad campaign, one billionaire believes that the company will somehow make a comeback.

Anheuser-Busch, one of the largest producers of beer in the world, lost more than 30% of Bud Light’s core profit after partnering with transgender influencer, Dylan Mulvaney. Despite a crippling $40 billion loss in revenue last quarter, Bill Gates has recently invested a significant amount of money into the sinking brand.

What is the Controversy Surrounding Bud Light?

Bud Light was once known as America’s best-selling beer – but now, it no longer ranks in the top ten most popular beers in the United States.

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After the brand was accused of alienating its consumers by collaborating with a person who does not represent their target market, many Americans called for a boycott of Bud Light and every brand of beer that is owned by Anheuser-Busch. Millions of Bud Light drinkers across the country did not support Bud Light using Dylan Mulvaney as a spokesperson, and the company was faced with intense backlash as a result.

Who is Dylan Mulvaney?

Dylan Mulvaney is a social media personality who boasts 1.8 million followers on Instagram and 10.6 million followers on TikTok.

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The transgender influencer rose to fame in early 2022, as Mulvaney chronicled the process of transitioning from male to female in a TikTok series called “Days of Girlhood.” Mulvaney caught the attention of Anheuser-Busch and eventually partnered with the beer maker to promote Bud Light. Mulvaney became part of a controversial campaign that featured her face on the side of Bud Light Beer cans.

Bill Gates Made a Hefty Investment in Bud Light

While a nationwide boycott of Bud Light and all things Anheuser-Busch has caused some serious financial woes for the once-beloved beer brand, Bill Gates was unfazed by the company’s rapid decline in sales.

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In fact, Gates recently showed his support for Bud Light by investing nearly $100 million into the dwindling beer business. Gates, who is outspoken about his liberal political views, did not seem to care that Bud Light’s stock has been on the decline for months since the scandal.

Even Former Anheuser-Busch Execs Think He’s Making a Massive Mistake

In an unexpected move, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Trust bought 1.7 million shares of Anheuser-Busch after the company’s reputation had been shrouded by scandal. Gates’ contribution to Anheuser-Busch is valued at around $95 million.

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Anson Frericks, former Anheuser-Busch president of operations, believes that Bill Gates has made a very poor financial decision by investing in the company. “Bill Gates is definitely making a mistake,” he said. “Earlier this year, he already made a $900 million mistake when he invested [in] one of Anheuser-Busch’s largest rivals, Heineken.”

Bill Gates Just Doesn’t Know the Beer Industry

Although Bill Gates has found immense success and is worth more than $112 billion, Frericks believes he’s better off sticking to what he’s good at.

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Frericks panned the tech mogul for his unwise investments in beer brands, saying, “If I was looking for advice on investing in software companies, tech companies, I might go to Bill Gates. But if you’re looking at the beer industry, he doesn’t have a great track record of investing in winners at this point.”

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Bill Gates’ Endorsement Could Only Hurt Anheuser-Busch Even Further

Not only is Bill Gates expected to lose money with his Anheuser-Busch investment, but experts believe that his public support of the brand will only push potential consumers away.

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Frericks is concerned that Bill Gates’ endorsement won’t receive a positive reaction from “everyday” beer drinkers. It’s safe to assume that most people can’t relate to Gates due to his astronomical wealth and position in society, and Frericks thinks that average beer buyers won’t want to purchase any product he endorses.

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Rob Gronkowski Would Make More Sense as a Beer Ally

Frericks suggested that someone like a professional athlete would be more suited to sponsor a fumbling beer company in desperate need of a rebrand.

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“For the company’s sake, they’d probably be better off [with] maybe somebody who is more of, the everyman type of person, maybe like a Rob Gronkowski or somebody like that was investing into Anheuser-Busch, not necessarily somebody like Bill Gates,” he said. While Gronkowski is an elite-level athlete, he is still more relatable and generally well-liked by the public than Gates

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Anheuser-Busch Stock Is Dropping Way Down

Anheuser-Busch was once a thriving business to buy stock in. However, the beer producer’s stock has been steadily on the decline ever since they were accused of going “woke.”

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As of now, Bill Gates has already lost around $1.5 million of his investment and will likely continue to lose more as the stock continues to plummet. In May, Frericks said that the boycott of Anheuser-Busch products was “getting worse and worse” – and he was right. More than four months later, Anheuseur-Busch has yet to climb back into the good graces of the general public.

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When it Comes to Making Sales, Consumers Run the Show

Frericks insists that the boycott of Bud Light and other Anheuseur-Busch products is a way for consumers to let the brand know who’s really in charge.

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Bud Light may have reigned supreme for several years, but the business failed to understand the importance of honoring its loyal fan base. “Consumers feel like they’re having an impact,” he said. “And every single week these sales numbers are being reported, and they’re getting worse and worse every single week.”

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There Is Little Hope of Bud Light Making a Comeback

Beer buyers have essentially given up on Bud Light and have traded in their former favorite for beer for something new. Anhsuer-Busch lacked accountability for their failed Bud Light campaign, and they continued to alienate consumers who had regularly purchased the beer for years.

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With so much of their demographic long gone, many believe that Bud Light’s glory days are long over. Anheuser-Busch “Consumers have made a choice,” said an unidentified executive at a beer distributor. “They have left [Bud Light] and that’s how it’s going to be. I don’t envision a big percentage of them coming back.”

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There’s a New Best-Selling Beer in Town

In 2018, Gates admitted that he’s “not a big beer drinker,” but that hasn’t stopped him from investing in both Heineken and Anheuser-Busch.

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While Gates continues to lose money on his investment in Bud Light, a new beer has climbed the ranks as America’s favorite. Modelo Especial, which has outsold Bud Light week after week and currently ranks in the number one spot for beer sales.

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