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May 22, 2024  |  
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Heather Hunter


NextImg:Bud Light's marketing vice president takes a leave of absence following Dylan Mulvaney controversy

Weeks after boycotts of Bud Light, its parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev has reportedly decided to have marketing vice president Alissa Heinerscheid take a leave of absence following backlash of the brand partnering with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney to promote the beer. She will be replaced by Todd Allen, who was recently Budweiser's global marketing vice president.

A company spokesperson said the company is planning to streamline the marketing function to reduce layers “so that our most senior marketers are more closely connected to every aspect of our brand’s activities,” a company spokesperson said in a statement.

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There were reports that sources said that top executives at Bud's corporate parent Anheuser-Busch were allegedly blindsided by the marketing deal with Mulvaney.

“No one at a senior level was aware this was happening,” an unnamed source reportedly said. “It was a mistake.”

The unnamed source added, "Some low-level marketing staffer who helps manage the hundreds of influencer engagements, they must have thought it was no big deal."

Following the controversy, a Make Yourself at Home podcast interview went viral of the vice president of marketing talking about transforming the "fratty" and "out-of-touch" Bud Light brand.

“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,’” Heinerscheid said.

She continued: “We had this hangover, I mean, Bud Light had been kind of a brand of fratty, kind of out-of-touch humor, and it was really important that we had another approach.”

Anheuser-Busch broke its silence a week ago when it issued a statement in response to the backlash.

"As the CEO of a company founded in America’s heartland more than 165 years ago, I am responsible for ensuring every consumer feels proud of the beer we brew. We’re honored to be part of the fabric of this country. Anheuser-Busch employs more than 18,000 people, and our independent distributors employ an additional 47,000 valued colleagues. We have thousands of partners, millions of fans, and a proud history supporting our communities, military, first responders, sports fans, and hard-working Americans everywhere," CEO Brendan Whitworth said. "We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people. We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer."

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The controversy began when biological male and transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney went on social media earlier this month promoting that Anheuser-Busch had sent a pack of Bud Light with the influencer's likeness on the cans. Mulvaney said in the Instagram video that the partnership was part of the company's March Madness contest, which coincided with the social media star's one-year anniversary of transitioning from an adult biological male to "girlhood."