A new survey has found most regular beer drinkers in the U.S. feel favorably toward a brand that works with a transgender spokesperson.
This would be welcome news to Anheuser-Busch, which saw sales for its Bud Light beer brand fall 17 percent over last year after using transgender influence Dylan Mulvaney as a spokesperson last month.
Mulvaney has been documenting her transition over the last year on her popular TikTok series Days of Girlhood. She recently partnered with Anheuser-Busch for Bud Light’s campaign for the March Madness NCAA college basketball tournament. On April Fool’s Day, Mulvaney posted a short video to her Instagram where she joked about March Madness and her ability to carry multiple cans of beer.
The campaign was met with immediate anti-trans opposition from some customers. Rock musician and singer Kid Rock posted a video of himself shooting cans of Bud Light, and weekly sales of the brand reportedly fell by 17 percent.
According to a new survey from Morning Consult, however, the average beer-drinking American is far more accepting of a transgender spokesperson than the initial sales numbers and celebrity opposition might indicate.
In the survey, which was conducted approximately two weeks after the controversy started, a majority of regular monthly beer drinkers in the U.S. said they would feel “favorable” toward a beer brand that worked with a trans spokesperson. According to the survey, 53 percent said they would have a “very favorable” or “somewhat favorable” opinion of a brand “if it chose to hire a transgender spokesperson.”
The survey also revealed the average beer drinker is white (60 percent), a Democrat (48 percent versus only 29 percent Republican), younger (64 percent identify as Millennial or GenX), and overwhelmingly male (67 percent).
RELATED: Boycott Budweiser for Validating Trans Hate
The results of the survey came too late for at least two Anheuser-Busch executives, however.
Bud Light’s vice president of marketing Alissa Heinerscheid, who oversaw Mulvaney’s collaboration as part of Bud Light’s March Madness event, took what has been described as a leave of absence from her responsibilities at the company. Daniel Blake, who ran marketing for Anheuser-Busch brands, also took a leave of absence.
Mulvaney remained initially quiet about the controversy but recently posted a video to TikTok where she chose to focus on what she loves rather than her identity, and encouraged others to do the same.
“I’m hoping those parts will still be exciting to you and will be enough and to those of you who support me and choose to see my humanity, even if you don’t fully understand or relate to me,” she said. “If you’re still around, I am to.”
According to its website, Morning Consult surveys over 30,000 people daily around the world, and has used more than 35 million interviews to collect “demographic and psychographic data, brand perceptions, economic confidence, and political attitudes.”