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Bud Light faces a new scandal Anheuser-Busch could have seen coming

Since the Dylan Mulvaney scandal led to widespread boycotts of Bud Light, the once-leading beer brand has tried to steer away from anything political.



Since the Dylan Mulvaney scandal led to widespread boycotts of Bud Light, the once-leading beer brand has tried to steer away from anything political.

The beer brand lost about 26% of its sales after it partnered with Mulvaney, a transgender social-media influencer, to expand the Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) - Get Free Report brand's reach in the LGBTQ+ community. 

In this small marketing effort, the company sent Mulvaney Bud Light cans with her face on them to celebrate her first year as a woman.

Related: Popular entertainment company faces Chapter 11 bankruptcy risk

As many people know, the promotion led Kid Rock to post a social-media video in which he shot up cases of the then-top-selling beer brand. Boycotts followed as a number of right-wing media personalities and country music stars decided that Bud Light had committed an indefensible crime.

Once the scandal hit, Anheuser-Busch simply tried to move the conversation forward. The brand went back to featuring National Football League stars in its ads, with benign social-media posts along the line of "Who's ready for the weekend?"

Anheuser-Busch InBev Chief Executive Michel Doukeris never apologized to either side. Instead, he made clear that he thought the biggest mistake he made was allowing the conversation to become political.

"We work every day to delight our consumers and bring people together. When we do this well, our brands perform. Finally, let's talk beer. Everything we do should be about beer and should promote beer," he said during his company's first-quarter-earnings call.

The CEO also made clear that he believed his company should steer away from all political conversations. 

"Beer is an essential part of life's meaningful moments, whether in sports, music, or celebrations," he said. 

"These are moments that bring people together, and this is why I love beer. While beer will always be at the table when important topics are debated, the beer itself should not be the focus of the debate. But life is about being easy to drink and easy to enjoy. That's what consumers want, and that's what we are focused on delivering."

But with its latest massive sponsorship deal, Bud Light has waded deeply back into politics even if it didn't mean to.

Bud Light has lost at least a quarter of its business. 

Image source: Anheuser Busch

Bud Light partners with UFC

Anheuser-Busch desperately wants Bud Light to go back to being the beer you drink while watching football or having a barbecue. To further assert its manly ties to the world of sports, Bud Light signed the biggest-ever sponsorship deal in the history of Ultimate Fighting Championship to become the brand's official beer.

On the surface, this seems like a smart move that will move the beer brand away from its transgender scandal. 

The problem — and Anheuser-Busch should have seen this coming — is that UFC has its own transgender scandals, including one involving middleweight champion Sean Strickland, who has not been quiet in his disdain for the transgender community.

Strickland quickly jumped onto social media and shared some posts that Bud Light probably was not thrilled about.

"@budlight I'm really proud of you guys...I'm going to fix you guys. Don't worry I got this!!! I'm here to save the day," Strickland wrote on Instagram, accompanied with a video.

In the video, Strickland also referenced Bud Light's Pride-themed cans from Pride Month in 2022, which featured rainbow cans featuring pronouns. At the time, the brand faced only a mild backlash.

The UFC middleweight champion, however, seems to be saluting Bud Light for the wrong things.

"You know how I feel about transgenders. I go fucking hard. Just what I do. I'm the biggest advocate of biological females. If I said my views on transgenders I would get kicked off Instagram," Strickland continued.

In remarks made during a UFC media day Strickland also called for women to be taken out of the workforce and for them to lose the right to vote.  

"We let women vote, no offense. Think about America prior to women voting. They tried to ban alcohol, I don’t even drink but I’m not trying to ban alcohol. So, what you did, man, you let these women come into the workforce, now we make less money, you got kids raising themselves on TikTok, we need to go back to like 1942, maybe 1958," he said, MMA Weekly reported.

The UFC has not fined its fighters for any comments they make in public. Strickland has taken full advantage of that and has admitted that he went through a "weird neo-Nazi, white supremacist phase when I was younger," Daily Mail reported.

Bud Light excited about UFC deal

Anheuser-Busch did not immediately return a request for comment on Strickland's remarks. At the time the deal became public, the company's global chief marketing officer, Marcel Marcondes, said in a statement:

“As leaders of our category, we are focused on new opportunities to connect with consumers in new occasions. UFC has become an undeniable force in the sports industry, and that’s why we’re so excited to partner with them and continue to amplify this sport around the world. We will be creating new and exciting brand experiences for UFC fans.”

Bud Light will be integrated across all of UFC's shows and pay-per-view events as its official beer sponsor.

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BoJ Moves Markets, Traders Await Fed

This is a guest post by Denys Peleshok, Head of Asia at CPT Markets The US dollar continued to record volatile trading and…
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The post BoJ…



BoJ moves markets, traders await Fed

This is a guest post by Denys Peleshok, Head of Asia at CPT Markets

The US dollar continued to record volatile trading and saw some pressure for the last three trading sessions. While it saw significant price swings, the US currency remained without clear direction for most of this month. The dollar could stay that way as traders await the Federal Reserve’s meeting tomorrow and could err to the side of caution in the meantime.

The Federal Reserve is expected to keep its interest rates unchanged. The current higher-for-longer approach could continue to support the dollar against other currencies while the US economy remains resilient. The comments from the Federal Reserve’s president could remain at the center of attention as traders search for clues regarding the next steps in monetary policy.

The euro continued its rebound after the better-than-expected German GDP growth data. French economic data came up as forecast and supported the European currency’s trend. However, the inflation in the euro area declined faster than expected, and could contribute to a softer stance from the European Central Bank and could weigh on the euro.

Today’s Bank of Japan decision has negatively impacted the yen, as the Bank kept interest rates unchanged and could allow some flexibility in its yield curve control policy. Low yields could continue to weigh on the Japanese currency while a potential intervention could continue to pose risks.



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    How technology can support the human-guided experience borrowers still want

    With so many moving parts and different portals, we need to create a more efficient process that will make things easier for homebuyers. However, we can’t…



    HousingWire recently spoke to Sandra Madigan, EVP of product strategy – servicing technology at ICE Mortgage Technology, about improving the home buying and ownership experience with technology and how the industry can do so thoughtfully.

    HousingWire: According to ICE Mortgage Technology’s 2023 Borrower Insights Survey, fewer than one in 10 borrowers want a fully digital experience (9%) despite many appreciating the convenience of digital processes and services. What do you think the disconnect is there, and do you see this changing in the future?

    Sandra Madigan: I would start by saying that there is no true fully digital experience. What is available today is a fragmented experience that provides technology in pieces for all the steps in the home buying journey.

    As a borrower today, I may have to interact with my Realtor in one place and my lender in another. There is also the transition when you close your loan and go to yet another place to engage with your servicer. With so many moving parts and different portals, we need to create a more efficient process that will make things easier for homebuyers.

    However, we can’t lose sight that this process should be built on human connections and relationships, and these digital tools need to help support these necessary interactions. As technology providers continue to roll out solutions that provide that interconnected experience, we will see more borrower interest.

    I compare it to how people felt before the iPhone came out. No one knew it was possible to manage so many aspects of your life in one place — from ordering groceries to banking to managing your healthcare — and to be honest, people might not have thought they wanted all those things in one place. But after the iPhone was released, they realized, “Oh, I like this!”

    HW: How can digital technology improve the consumer experience during the home buying and financing process?

    SM: It all comes back to being able to get everything at your fingertips in a single place. We must provide consumers with the tools and education they need to more easily navigate the home buying process.

    As an example, when a homebuyer begins looking for a home, there’s currently an information disconnect, making it difficult for borrowers to match what they are looking for in a home with the reality of what they can afford.

    Additionally, borrowers need tools that educate them on the full cost of homeownership, as well as all the non-traditional income that could be used towards a home purchase. For example, they could be coming from an apartment where they are responsible for their cable bill, but in the new condominium they are interested in, they may not have that bill. So, the money they are now saving by not having to pay their cable bill can go towards their down payment.

    Or, conversely, they live in an apartment today and need to plan for a new lawn service cost. There may be affordability programs they could qualify for, but it’s hard to find that information when you don’t know where to look. Digital technology can help ensure consumers paint a realistic picture of what they can afford and what options are available to them. 

    It’s all about giving borrowers access to the information they need, where they want it, how they want it and when they want it.

    You can put the most incredible technology in front of the consumer, but if you don’t work on streamlining the back-end part of the process you have not delivered effective technology. It is critical to also digitize the front-end processes, which enable you to give borrowers a better experience, while also making it easier for your loan officers and other staff members to do their job.

    Similarly in servicing, you need to provide consumers the self-service capabilities to manage their home and their loan, while also delivering a great back-office experience. Ultimately, these two pieces come together to accelerate how we capture and process applications to enable quicker terms for approvals. Lenders also gain heightened data integrity and a more efficient origination and servicing processes overall. 

    HW: When it comes to further digitization, what aspects of the mortgage experience should the industry be focused on?

    SM: I think the industry needs to focus on advancing the end-consumer experience. This really comes down to designing products and experiences around the customer journey and mapping it from that point of view.

    I’m a big believer in working from the outside in. You need to bring the same level of convenience borrowers are asking for into the back-end. And if you’re offering your borrowers self-service options, you should be giving your loan officers a view into those things so they can reach out and offer support as needed. Everything should be in sync.

    Often, there is a big disconnect between origination and servicing. Delivering a personalized experience builds retention and helps ensure borrowers come back to you for more business. Your borrowers should not just be a loan or account number, there’s a person behind that number and you need to know that person. Remember their birthday, reach out to celebrate the anniversary of their closing day. This is all part of delivering a holistic experience. This also comes into play when a borrower satisfies their mortgage and the lien is released. The lien release process must be streamlined and efficient.

    We expect to continue to see low for-sale inventory due to the “rate lock-in” effect from the ultra-low interest rates so many homeowners secured in the early 2020s, which will likely extend the traditional average length of the servicing relationship for some time. This creates unique opportunities for servicers to build long-term relationships with their customers. To that end, their No. 1 priority should be becoming a trusted partner who’s there to answer questions and support all their home finance needs. Whether you are a bank, credit union or non-bank, offering a holistic approach can be hugely valuable, and leveraging technology can help you do it efficiently and effectively.

    HW: How does ICE approach its digital strategy and product development?

    SM: When it comes to product development, you need to think about your end user; we call it empathy-driven development. Some in software development don’t think that way. They think it’s just about the code, but it’s also about how you design technology to interact with people. Education is everything, and we want people to know the options available to them.

    Our solution, Servicing Digital, provides borrowers who are facing challenges with their mortgage payments the ability to request assistance from their servicer at any time. Borrowers can ask their sensitive questions from the privacy of their own home, authorize an income analysis, and even upload and review documents in real time. They don’t even have to be in default to leverage these services. If a borrower recently lost their job and is concerned about paying their mortgage, they can connect with their servicer now to understand all the options available to them.

    It’s not about the loan, it should always be about homeownership. Lenders, servicers and we, as technology providers, are in the business of helping people get into and stay in their homes. Everything we do at ICE comes back to helping people achieve the dream of homeownership. If you take this empathetic approach with integrity, you can be proud of the impact you’re having on people’s lives.

    HW: Though delinquencies are low and loan performance is strong… there’s also this uncertainty that this current market won’t last. What should lenders be thinking about as they face the future with a bit of uncertainty?

    SM: I would say two things on this. The first is, when you start from that place of empathy, whether delinquencies are high or low, someone’s ability to pay is affected by something. So, if we’re able to help even one homeowner stay in their home, we’re having an impact. The other is that, I think, given the current economic trends, we will see delinquencies creep up and we need to prepare for how we can use technology to engage borrowers and provide tools that ensure they are aware of all the options available to them.

    Let me give an example of how technology can help in this area. No one expected the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, the GSEs released programs to help with payment assistance. We had those programs up and running in Service Digital in one sprint — that’s two weeks. And with the click of a button, borrowers who needed assistance could easily get information and help. I know we, as an industry, want to help those with financial hardship stay in their homes, and the only way you can do that is with the thoughtful use of proven technology.

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    The Reformation of Money: Bitcoin’s Whitepaper And Its Parallels To Martin Luther

    The Bitcoin Whitepaper challenged the unquestioned orthodoxy of government control over money the same way Martin Luther challenged the unquestioned orthodoxy…



    It’s that time of year when the leaves are changing, the chill of winter is in the air, and many of us in the Western world are once again gearing up for the holiday season. Thanksgiving and Christmas are important holidays for many and one of the best times to gather with family. Still, I would argue that one of the most important holidays is only celebrated by .01 percent of the global population.

    That’s right, I am talking about Whitepaper Day. It was 15 years ago today that one of the most important documents ever written was released to the world. The importance of this document is akin to Martin Luther, who published his 95 Theses in Wittenberg, Germany, on October 31, 1517.

    Satoshi Nakamoto must have been a student of history because there is little chance this was a coincidence and Satoshi must have understood the significance of publishing the Whitepaper on this day. The parallels between the Whitepaper and the 95 Theses simply can’t be ignored.

    Martin Luther’s 95 Theses directly challenged the established moral authority and teachings of the Catholic Church that were never questioned by the average person in those days due to blind obedience to the powers that be.

    To the typical citizen back then, the Church had the final say on everything and was never to be questioned. This system worked for a very long time until, one day, people started asking questions.

    Such meaningful changes to how people see the world, such as what occurred during the Reformation, don’t happen in a vacuum. There was a series of events that led people to this paradigm shift.

    The Catholic Church in the 1500s operated more like a government than a religious institution. Popes in those days were in charge of massive bureaucracies that dealt with everything from forging alliances, building armies, and preying on the fears of their congregants to create a corrupt money-making enterprise.

    Essentially, over the centuries, the Catholic Church diverged from the original mission of spreading the Gospel and obeying God’s commandments and became more focused on worldly issues of money and power.

    The same paradigm shift about money and power is occurring right now and is present in the genesis block. “ The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks” is more than an observation of the news: It is a realization that the global monetary system is irreparably broken.

    Man has proven time and time again over the centuries that when given absolute power over the lives of others, even the most pious and well-meaning among us will become corrupt. It is a fatal flaw of the human condition. The only thing that we as humans can do is to mitigate this urge as much as possible.

    This is what makes the Bitcoin Whitepaper such a profound and essential part of world history.

    Money Makes The World Go Round


    Everybody knows, young and old, that money makes the world go round. This is why most people roll out of bed and head to a job they hate to earn little pieces of paper that their governments say have value. People do this because they want what the pieces of paper represent.

    These pieces of paper represent time, labor, and desires for goods and services that can benefit their lives. Just like in the days of Martin Luther, the masses were content with the Church having all the power. People today are content with governments controlling the money printer. But a few are starting to ask questions and notice things.

    The surging inflation of the last two years is becoming hard for the average consumer to ignore, and the burgeoning global debt crisis is an intractable problem that central banks can only solve by printing more political currency units, thus further devaluing them in a vicious debt spiral until monetary collapse.

    The publication of the Bitcoin whitepaper and the widespread dissemination of this information has shown the world that there is a better way to create money, in a way that takes the power and temptation away from our so-called leaders to print new money at will for their own benefit. Bitcoin binds this innate temptation towards corruption in an unbreakable chain of positive incentives, decentralization, transparency, and hard-capped supply, enabled by the ingenious difficulty adjustment and backed by the world’s energy.

    These features never existed in the barter system, the gold standard, or the fiat system we are living under right now. Today, we have the opportunity to remake the world with better money that works for everyone and not just the elite. This is a social experiment that has never been tried in human history and is one that we can ill afford not to try.

    We have seen the results of other types of money. Why not try money that can’t be created out of thin air or confiscated by governments? What else do we have to lose? Our backs are against the wall, folks; it’s either freedom or tyranny. Liberty or death. Which way will humanity go?

    On this glorious Whitepaper day, choose hope over despair. Stand up to the powers that be like Martin Luther did so long ago and change the world with each action you take.

    Remember, “ It does not take a majority to prevail... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” - Samuel Adams

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