Anheuser-Busch hires ex-GOP aides to lobby as Bud Light's Dylan Mulvaney controversy drags on

Beer giant aims to repair Bud Light's image with conservatives following partnership with trans activist

Anheuser-Busch has taken its damage-control campaign to Capitol Hill, and one conservative group is warning the GOP not to take the bait.

The beer giant, which is owned by Belgium-based brewing conglomerate InBev, has hired a lobbying team of former Republican Senate staffers to woo lawmakers as it seeks to repair Bud Light's image among conservatives following backlash over the brand's partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.

ABInBev logo

The logo of Anheuser-Busch InBev is pictured outside the brewer's headquarters in Leuven, Belgium February 25, 2016. The beer giant is looking to repair the image of its Bud Light brand after backlash over its controversial partnership with a transge (REUTERS/Yves Herman / Reuters Photos)

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
BUD ANHEUSER-BUSCH INBEV 65.05 +0.42 +0.65%

Disclosures show weeks ago A-B secured lobbying firm Origin Advocacy, LLC, to represent the company on "general policy regarding the alcohol-beverage industry." The lobbyists handling the account are Origin founder Sean McClean and Origin partner Emily Lynch, both veteran GOP aides.

McClean is a former legislative director for Sen. Ted Cruz (R, Texas) and White house liaison for the Commerce Department under President Trump, and was previously legislative director to now-Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R, Tenn.) when she served in the House. 

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Lynch was previously a legislative assistant to former Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R, N.H.), served in the same role for Rep. Virginia Foxx (R, N.C.), and was also previously an executive assistant to the Republican staff director for the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee.

Bud Light beer bottles

Anheuser-Busch is looking to repair the damage done to its Bud Light brand after conservatives urged a nationwide boycott of the beer over its partnership with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney. (Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Bud Light / Getty Images)

But not all conservatives are happy with A-B's approach as it attempts to tamp down Bud Light-backlash on the hill.

FOX Business obtained a letter sent to congressional aides by conservative group American Accountability Foundation (AAF), slamming Origin and urging the staffers to reject the lobbyist group and A-B.

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AAF president Tom Jones wrote in the letter that McClean and Lynch are "making the rounds on the Hill trying to red-wash Bud Light's disastrous decision to partner with a man pretending to be a woman and tell you the company really does respect conservative values."

Dylan Mulvaney drinks Bud Light beer

Bud Light has faced intense backlash from longtime customers over recent campaign with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney.  (Instagram/Fox News / Fox News)

"They're even making the shamefully offensive equivalency argument that their transgender activist beer can is just like their beer can honoring WWII vets," Jones continued. "They're telling offices, ‘Anheuser-Busch sometimes creates commemorative cans. ... Honor Flight can [for] example.’ If partnering with a trans activist wasn't shameful enough equating Dylan Mulvaney to a World War II hero is really beyond the pale."

Neither Anheuser-Busch nor Origin Advocacy responded to FOX Business' requests for comment prior to publication.

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When reached for reaction, AAF said in a statement, "If Bud Light wants to regain the trust of conservative customers, they should apologize for insulting their values by embracing the woke left’s radical gender agenda instead of wasting their money on lobbyists. Bud Light sided with the Left against the average American and no amount of D.C. lobbyists in fancy suits will make them forget that."