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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Warns Anheuser-Busch Over Bud Light Ad Featuring Dylan Mulvaney

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has indicated that he may take legal action against Anheuser-Busch InBev, the parent company of Bud Light, over the beer brand’s promotion with TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney. The March Madness promotion with Mulvaney, a transgender actress and activist, received backlash from conservatives, leading to calls for a boycott. This backlash has contributed to a sales slump for Bud Light. Governor DeSantis, who is also a 2024 presidential candidate, revealed that Florida’s pension fund holds over $50 million worth of Anheuser-Busch shares, and the promotion’s impact on sales has caused collateral damage to the fund. He suggested that a derivative lawsuit could be filed on behalf of the shareholders to hold the company accountable for prioritizing a social agenda over business interests.

Governor DeSantis has sent a letter to Florida’s State Board of Administration (SBA), which manages the pension fund, asking them to review the impact of AB InBev’s conduct on the value of the fund’s holdings. He believes that AB InBev may have breached its legal duties to shareholders, warranting a shareholder action. The exact amount lost by the pension fund from its Anheuser-Busch investments was not disclosed.

Anheuser-Busch responded to the situation, stating that they take their responsibility to shareholders, employees, distributors, and customers seriously. They are focused on driving long-term, sustainable growth and providing consumers with enjoyable products for any occasion. The company’s CEO, Brendan Whitworth, has confirmed that financial assistance is being provided to distributors and wholesalers affected by the decline in Bud Light sales. AB InBev plans to triple its investment in Bud Light this year and is preparing for a summer campaign and the upcoming NFL season.

The sales decline for Bud Light has been substantial, with a 28% drop for the week ending June 24, compared to the same period last year. This decline translates to a revenue decrease of approximately $26 million for Anheuser-Busch. The stock price of AB InBev has also fallen by 14% since the Mulvaney promotion, resulting in a $16 billion loss in market value. Florida’s pension fund held over 682,000 shares of AB InBev at the end of March, worth nearly $46 million.

In addition to this issue, Governor DeSantis is involved in an ongoing dispute with the Walt Disney Co. regarding the extent of Disney’s authority over land near its theme parks in Orlando, Florida.

Governor DeSantis is currently on the campaign trail and seeking to position himself as the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024. He has been making appearances in various states, with a recent visit to South Carolina and a current visit to Utah to reinvigorate his campaign, which has experienced a decline in momentum.

Source: usmoneydigest

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