On April 5, 2023, claims began to spread online that Anheuser-Busch had fired its entire marketing department over the "biggest mistake in Budweiser history." We found the claim, however, to come from a satire website — there's no evidence any of it happened.
"TRUE: Anheuser-Busch fired its marketing dept. over 'Biggest mistake in Budweiser history,'" a Twitter user posted. "The nail in the coffin was Kid Rock 'shooting the crap out of a bunch of beer' & banning the beer from his upcoming tour! Bud Light sales dropped 80%!" It linked to an "article" that supposedly supported the claims.
TRUE: Anheuser-Busch fired its marketing dept. over
"Biggest mistake in Budweiser history."
????The nail in the coffin was Kid Rock "shooting the crap out of a bunch of beer' & banning the beer from his upcoming tour! ????
????Bud Light sales dropped 80%! https://t.co/1UnwgboMKv
— LionHearted (@LionHearted76) April 6, 2023
The claim spread on at least one other website, as well as on social media platforms like Facebook.
The satirical article came in the middle of right-wing backlash to the company partnering with transgender TikTok influencer Dylan Mulvaney to promote the company's "March Madness" contest, as well as gifting her a commemorative can. We reached out to the company for comment, and will update this check if we hear back.
The website the fake article was shared from was Patriot Party Press, which is a subsidiary of America's Last Line of Defense (LLOD). We've repeatedly fact-checked the website before, which has the following disclaimer on its "About Us" page:
Before you complain and decide satire is synonymous with "comedy":
sat·ire ˈsaˌtī(ə)r noun: The use of humor, irony, exaggeration, OR ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.
Everything on this website is fiction. It is not a lie and it is not fake news because it is not real. If you believe that it is real, you should have your head examined. Any similarities between this site's pure fantasy and actual people, places, and events are purely coincidental and all images should be considered altered and satirical. See above if you're still having an issue with that satire thing.
The Facebook page that shared the article also described its content as satire in its description. "Nothing on this page is real," it said. "It is a collection of the satirical whimsies of liberal trolls masquera [sic]."
In the same vein, a subsequent story published by America's Last Line of Defense falsely claimed that Anheuser-Busch's CEO had resigned due to plummeting sales.
But if that had happened, or if the company had actually fired its entire marketing department, reputable publications would have reported what happened. The only posts about the claim we could find were other websites debunking the claims.
There's also no indication that Bud Light sales have dropped 80% in the wake of the partnership. In March 2023, Yahoo News reported that Americans were drinking less beer after companies, including Bud Light's parent company AB InBev, had raised prices.
Other claims from LLOD have circulated about Anheuser-Busch following the company's partnership with Mulvaney. One "article" claimed CEO Augustus Anheuser Busch III resigned from the company because of the partnership. He actually retired from the company in 2006. The current U.S. CEO is Brendan Whitworth, and there is no indication that he has recently resigned from his role.