“Mark Cuban from Shark Tank shows support for Bud Light amidst Dylan Mulvaney controversy”

Billionaire Mark Cuban Says Woke Companies Don’t Go Broke

In a recent interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Shark Tank star and billionaire tycoon Mark Cuban argues that getting woke does not mean going broke. Cuban’s statement was in response to a rising tide of criticism aimed at companies that embrace social causes outside of their core business, and takes a side in a heated debate over business’s role in society. Cuban said, “People want to do business with companies that care about their customers… There is a reason almost all the top 10 market cap companies in the U.S. can be considered woke. It’s good business.”

Cultural Issues

Companies have staked out positions on often divisive cultural issues in recent years in part because public relations consultants told them to do so. A lack of diversity played a major factor in the lead-up to the 2008 global financial crisis, according to top officials at the European Central Bank. This is one reason why diversity of thinking is now being emphasized as a bulwark against groupthink. Meanwhile, for investors like Blackrock, supporting businesses that want to change to more climate-friendly technologies is as much a financial decision as it is a public relations one.

The Bud Light Boycott

The controversy surrounding Bud Light’s brief partnership at the start of April with transgender social media star Dylan Mulvaney and its impromptu boycott led demand for Anheuser-Busch’s popular beer to plummet. The backlash became so bad that people posted images of fully-stocked shelves of Bud Light next to ads offering the lager at a steep discount. Conservatives celebrated the Bud Light boycott as a victory against what they call “woke capitalism,” which has been blamed for everything from Texas power outages to the recent collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. Corporate boards, however, should not panic in this situation, but rather wait out the storm, according to Cuban.

Wait Out the Storm?

Cuban’s advice to AB InBev’s Doukeris and other corporate boardrooms, meanwhile, is not to panic, but to wait out the storm. “Most CEOs have enough experience to know to just wait out the news cycle until they go to the next one,” he said. Weeks after Mulvaney’s Instagram post, however, the topic does not appear to be going away, and the brand is running out of time before permanent damage is done, according to a former Anheuser-Busch sales executive. Cuban’s fellow Shark Tank star, Kevin O’Leary, even warned that companies need to carefully analyze the risk posed by platforms like Instagram and TikTok and even proposed a new board committee alongside those focusing on audit and compliance to deal with communications and media. “It took decades to create the American beer, and exactly 32 hours to destroy it. So when you can’t control the message anymore through social media, which is clearly obvious, you better figure out what message you’re putting out before it ever gets out there,” O’Leary said.

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