The hole just keeps getting deeper for Bud Light’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI) and US retail giant Target with their combined market value plummeting by almost US$40 billion as consumers boycott both brands..ABI saw a market loss of US$27 billion after an ill-advised marketing partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney that rolled out on April 1. (Not a joke.).The end for Bud Light began when Mulvaney, a biological male who became well known for recording videos of ‘transitioning’ to a female, appeared in a video, titled ‘Celebrating 365 days of womanhood’, displaying a can of Bud Light customized to show Mulvaney’s likeness..All hell broke loose on social media and in bars and liquors stores in the US as consumers started boycotting the brand, which has yet to let up..Bud Light CEO Brendan Whitworth issued a statement on the controversy at the time, but did not apologize.."We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people. We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer," the statement said in part..Newsweek reports ABI CEO Michel Doukeris told investors the promotion involved just one can and the company was planning to invest more in the brand amid the backlash.."This was the result of one can. It was not made for production or sale to the general public," said Doukeris. "It was one post, not a formal campaign or advertisement.".Bud Light’s loss has been other brands’ gain, with The New York Post reporting the brand’s closest rival, Modelo Especial beer, seeing sales increase 9.2% for the week ending May 20, compared to a Bud Light decline of 24.6% in the same week.."While Bud Light loses week after week, Modelo Especial gains week after week; and now Modelo outsells Bud Light on a national basis across all trade channels combined," Bump Williams, who runs Bump Williams Consulting, told The Post. "If this continues, Modelo will surpass Bud Light for the year.".Other brands in the ABI line-up have also lost market share with Budweiser dropping 11.25%, Michelob Ultra falling 6.5%, Busch Light dropping 5.2%, and Natural Light declining 4.9%..The trouble for Target started with displays of transgender clothing, including ‘tuck friendly swimsuits’ and LGBTQ Pride merchandise targetted at children. .Target stores in three southern states were ordered to move the displays from storefronts, to smaller areas in the back, but not only had the damage been done, members of the LGBTQ+ community put the retailer in their sights, calling the stores ‘cowards’ for not continuing their support..As of Wednesday, Target’s market value dropped by US$12.7 billion, after taking a US$9 billion hit last week..Target’s chair and CEO Brian Cornell hailed the company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion policy as being a money maker on Fortune’s Leadership Next podcast in May. ."The things we've done from a DE&I )Diversity, equity, and inclusion) standpoint, it's adding value," he said. "It's helping us drive sales, it's building greater engagement with both our teams and our guests, and those are just the right things for our business today."."When we think about purpose at Target, it's really about helping all the families, and that 'all' word is really important. Most of America shops at Target, so we want to do the right thing to support families across the country.”.From money maker to money breaker, with Target stocks listed at $160.96 the day Cornell made his remarks, to closing at $133.80 on Tuesday..Entrepreneur and Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary said on Fox News that although Target wants to sell to everybody, its marketing decision to roll out the Pride merchandising line was a "huge mistake."."When Bud happened, I can't believe that boards didn't wake up to that decimation market cap. Budweiser was the American beer. It took decades to build that brand and they blew it up in 30 hours," said O'Leary, adding companies like Bud Light and Target "cannot be partisan in any way" when selling consumer goods and services.” ."Let me give you an example," he said. "Do you ever hear a CEO that represents a company ever talking about abortion? Never. Because that's an issue that will never be resolved. It's a personal issue, it's a family issue, it's a religious issue. It's partisan forever. You don't touch it. Same thing with politics, same thing with gender identity. Everybody has a personal opinion about it. When you actually get involved in a fight like that, you lose 50% of your constituency."