Budweiser has released a patriotic new ad featuring its iconic Clydesdale horses just two weeks after Dylan Mulvaney‘s Bud Light deal sparked a huge backlash, but the public is not biting the bit.

The one-minute spot was released on social media Friday and features shots of the iconic Clydesdales galloping across the country, in open fields, and past landmarks including the Lincoln Memorial and the New York City skyline.

A deep-voiced narrator says that Budweiser is ‘a story bigger than beer’ as the horses race across the screen.

‘This is the story of the American spirit,’ he says.

The ad for the beer – which like Bud Light is also owned by Anheuser-Busch appears to be a pivot to return to traditional values for the brand which historically appeals to blue-collar American workers.

This is in stark difference to Bud Light’s doomed partnership with trans influencer Mulvaney – which ended in a lukewarm apology from the firm’s CEO.

However, online users slammed the ad as a pathetic attempt to right the ship that was permanently sent in the wrong direction with the Mulvaney partnership.

The iconic Clydesdales are shown galloping across iconic American settings

The iconic Clydesdales are shown galloping across iconic American settings

‘My favorite advertisement by a mile was the Clydesdales after 9/11. It was absolute perfection. After your embrace of the trans agenda, glorifying a man looking for his 15 mins of fame by mocking women. I will never buy, drink or serve your beer again,’ wrote one user.

‘Is the horse trans now?’ wrote radio host Dan O’Donnell. 

‘Nope, you guys destroyed your own base and market because you had to go woke. I’ll never drink any of your products again,’ wrote Brandon Saario

‘Lol, hard pivot huh?’ wrote Angela McArdle, the chair of the Libertarian Party.

Commentator Philip Holloway wrote: ‘Don’t look now Anheuser Busch and Budweiser but the Clydesdale has already left the barn. The train has sailed, the ship has left the station.’ 

In one shot, the ad showcases two people raising an American flag as one places her hand over her heart.

As the flag is raised, the narrator says: ‘Brewed for those who found opportunity in challenge and hope in tomorrow.’

In another shot, the ad shows the downtown NYC skyline, where the Freedom tower now stands instead of the World Trade Center. At that moment, the narrator says the word: ‘Remember.’

Not everyone appreciated the reference. Brandon Morse, the senior editor of Red State responded: ‘I’m not sure a lineup of B-roll footage and some guy throwing middle-America buzzwords at us will win us back, and frankly, bringing 9/11 into this is kind of insulting.’ 

The Budweiser Clydesdales have been featured in the Budweiser Super Bowl ad for more than 30 years

The Budweiser Clydesdales have been featured in the Budweiser Super Bowl ad for more than 30 years

The targeted ad arrives as Anheuser-Busch continues to navigate the controversy surrounding Bud Light’s partnership.

Bud Light and Budweiser are distinct brands housed under the same parent company. With the new ad, the latter – often called The King of Beers – appears to be stepping in to save the reputation of Bud Light. 

In her controversial ad, Mulvaney posted a clip of herself sipping from a one-off, custom Bud Light can with her face on to promote its March Madness competition – and the backlash saw parent company Anheuser-Busch lose $6billion in market cap within six days.

Mulvaney became well known for the ‘days of girlhood’ videos, in which the 26-year-old documented the first year of identifying as a girl. 

But the TikTok star, 26, has angered some feminists and conservatives over claims she’s ‘play-acting’ being a ‘girl,’ and co-opting parts of womanhood she finds interesting – without having to deal with the misogyny or prejudice many women face. 

Even the Budweiser Clydesdales have not escaped the backlash against the partnership, as a Budweiser distributor in Missouri canceled all scheduled events to showcase the massive horses last week amid safety concerns.  

Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth, 46, delivered a lackluster apology on Friday

Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth, 46, delivered a lackluster apology on Friday

Whitworth issued this public statement on Friday, two weeks into the controversy

Whitworth issued this public statement on Friday, two weeks into the controversy

Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth delivered a lackluster apology on Friday.

‘We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people. We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer,’ said Whitworth in the statement.

In a statement after the initial blow back, the company tried to calm conservative consumers with a statement.

‘Anheuser-Busch works with hundreds of influencers across our brands as one of many ways to authentically connect with audiences across various demographics and passion points.

‘From time to time, we produce unique commemorative cans for fans and for brand influencers, like Dylan Mulvaney.

‘This commemorative can was a gift to celebrate a personal milestone and is not for sale to the general public.’

Whitworth is seen in the early 1990s, in a feature about the sporting and academic star in his local Delaware newspaper

Whitworth is seen in the early 1990s, in a feature about the sporting and academic star in his local Delaware newspaper

Whitworth qualified for the Ironman World Championship - an ultra-triathlon held annually in Hawaii - but did not take up his place, joining the CIA in 2001 instead

Whitworth qualified for the Ironman World Championship – an ultra-triathlon held annually in Hawaii – but did not take up his place, joining the CIA in 2001 instead

The decision to team up with Mulvaney was reportedly made by a low-level marketing executive, but that has not stopped Whitworth and his vice president of marketing for Bud Light, Alissa Heinerscheid, from facing a torrent of criticism.

Yet few are better positioned to draw on a lifetime of challenging situations than Whitworth – an ‘all American hero’ and trainee doctor who joined the Marines – where he was a star athlete – and the CIA, recruiting and handling spies across the Middle East, before going to Harvard Business School.

Whitworth has lived across the United States, and has been a registered Republican for most of his life. 

‘I felt fortunate to have been born in the United States,’ he said. ‘I felt like I needed to pay that back – like I had a bit of indebtedness that I needed to pay.’

Whitworth grew up in the Alapocas Woods area just outside Wilmington, Delaware – the son of a doctor, Michael Whitworth, and his wife Sara.

He attended Salesianum School, a Catholic high school in Wilmington, and graduated in 1994, having led the school soccer team to win the state championship. He was also fiendishly academic, earning straight As in honors pre-calculus.

Whitworth then decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and study medicine, attending Bucknell University in Pennsylvania.

Yet midway through his college career, he had a change of heart.

Having always admired military and government service, he decided he wanted to join the Marines, attending Officer Cadet School and being commissioned as a lieutenant in his senior year.

Whitworth played soccer at high school in Wilmington and at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania

Whitworth played soccer at high school in Wilmington and at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania

His grandfather worked at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), serving under President Hoover, before running the training in Quantico, Virginia.

‘That’s where kind of the attachment to serving the country came from,’ Whitworth told Fox News in an October interview.

By the age of 25, Whitworth, 6ft 2in and 185lbs, was stationed at Camp Pendleton in California, and making headlines as an Ironman.

He ran the Marine Corp Marathon in a remarkable two hours 55 minutes, and the following year qualified for the Ironman World Championship – an ultra-triathlon held annually in Hawaii.

Whitworth did not take up his place, however: by then, he had decided to leave the Marines, after three years, and join the CIA.

In the aftermath of 9/11, from 2001-6, Whitworth worked in some of the toughest spots around the globe at the height of the War on Terror – Pakistan, Tunisia, Iraq.

His LinkedIn describes his role as: ‘Specialized in the recruitment and handling of human sources with access to vital intelligence that prevented and disrupted terrorist threats.’

The CEO of Anheuser-Busch is seen during a Belgian Economic Mission to the U.S. in June 2022. AB-InBev, the parent company for Anheuser-Busch, is based in Belgium

The CEO of Anheuser-Busch is seen during a Belgian Economic Mission to the U.S. in June 2022. AB-InBev, the parent company for Anheuser-Busch, is based in Belgium

Whitworth is seen addressing an Anheuser-Busch gathering

Whitworth is seen addressing an Anheuser-Busch gathering

His family were proud, but worried.

His older sister Kelty – an All-American swimmer at Ursuline Academy in Delaware, who then went to Harvard – told him it was time to get out.

‘While she appreciated what I had been doing she, as any protective sibling would be, was constantly saying, ‘OK, you’ve done eight years now … What do you think about prioritizing yourself?” he told Fox Business.

Whitworth described his sister as being a ‘strong, well-grounded opinion’ in his life.

He reluctantly agreed with her, but on the condition that he would only leave if he got in to Harvard, like her.

‘There are a bunch of great business schools but I always felt like she had something on me, too,’ he explained.

‘So, I was like, ‘All right, fine, I’m going to go there’.’

He prepared for his Graduate Management Admission Test while in Baghdad, studying late at night after his CIA shifts ended.

In 2006 he arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Whitworth continued to play sports, particularly rugby.

But he focused on his studies, and on graduation landed a prime job with PepsiCo.

In 2013, he joined AB-Inbev – the Belgian-based brewing company, formed from the merger of US firm Anheuser-Busch with brewing companies around the world.

He rose up the ranks, leading trade marketing, category and sales technology divisions before becoming US Chief Sales Officer in November 2017, and finally US CEO.

‘It’s hard to find a few things that are as closely attached to the United States of America than Anheuser-Busch,’ he said at the time of his appointment, in July 2021.

Whitworth is seen in a Budweiser hoody greeting drinkers at a trade fair

Whitworth is seen in a Budweiser hoody greeting drinkers at a trade fair

‘That passion for the country just naturally connected to a passion for Anheuser-Busch and I grew up drinking Budweiser.

‘I would bring Budweiser to college parties, and not even really care what was in the keg.’

Whitworth credits his Marine training with helping him rise to the top of corporate America.

‘They put you through a process to screen you, to see if do you have the capabilities to lead Marines,’ he said.

‘Then they give you what they believe are the right leadership principles and then they give you a platoon of Marines, and you have to go see if that all works.

‘That early experience gave me an appreciation that I’ve continued to build upon — what it means to connect with, sell to, market to someone from Philadelphia or somebody from San Antonio.’

It’s certainly made him a wealthy man.

Whitworth is believed to earn $12 million a year, and lives with his wife Meredith in a $7 million apartment on the Upper East Side, close to Central Park.

He will draw on all of his experience as he helps Anheuser-Busch weather the Mulvaney storm.

‘None of us get it right every time. We’re not supposed to,’ he told Business Insider, in the November 2021 interview about his hiring technique.

‘But I want to see people that get it wrong and then quickly move on to try and get it right.’

Anheuser-Busch defended gifting Dylan Mulvaney her personalized can in a statement: 'From time to time, we produce unique commemorative cans for fans and for brand influencers, like Mulvaney. This commemorative can was a gift to celebrate a personal milestone and is not for sale'

Anheuser-Busch defended gifting Dylan Mulvaney her personalized can in a statement: ‘From time to time, we produce unique commemorative cans for fans and for brand influencers, like Mulvaney. This commemorative can was a gift to celebrate a personal milestone and is not for sale’

In early April, Mulvaney shared a video of herself in a bathtub sipping from a can of Bud Light to announce her new partnership with the brand

In early April, Mulvaney shared a video of herself in a bathtub sipping from a can of Bud Light to announce her new partnership with the brand

The company has been hit with a barrage of complaints, with many customers filming themselves pouring the liquid away

The company has been hit with a barrage of complaints, with many customers filming themselves pouring the liquid away  

Last week, the company’s doubling down only enraged angered customers more.

Onlookers are now criticizing the maneuver as a shameless publicity grab, amid the recent trend of companies going ‘woke’ to better their bottom lines.

Alissa Heinerscheid, Bud Light vice president of marketing, previously stoked the flames of the controversy by saying she had a mandate to update the brand’s ‘fratty’ and ‘out-of-touch’ image. 

‘I’m a businesswoman. I had a really clear job to do when I took over Bud Light, and it was “This brand is in decline, it’s been in a decline for a really long time, and if we do not attract young drinkers to come and drink this brand there will be no future for Bud Light,”‘ she said in a video that has been heavily criticized.

‘It’s like we need to evolve and elevate this incredibly iconic brand,’ she added.

‘What does evolve and elevate mean? It means inclusivity. It means shifting the tone. It means having a campaign that’s truly inclusive and feels lighter and brighter and different.

‘And appeals to women and to men,’ she concluded in an interview from March 30.





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