The senior marketing exec behind Bud Light’s controversial partnership with Dylan Mulvaney has taken a leave of absence in the wake of intense backlash.
Alissa Heinerscheid, the marketing VP for the popular beer, will be replaced by Todd Allen, the company’s global marketing VP for Budweiser.
Heinerscheid was hired to overhaul the brand in June, 2022. It is not yet known if she will be replaced permanently.
The move comes as Anheuser-Busch, Bud Light’s parent company, has been unable to pull itself from the Mulvaney controversy and subsequent boycott.
Mulvaney posted several videos and images with the popular beer, including photos of a custom-made can featuring the TikToker’s face in celebration of “365 Days of Girlhood.”
In the days that followed, a campaign to boycott the brand took off on social media. This was spurred on by Kid Rock and other celebrities who vowed to never touch Bud Light again.
In response, the company released a “pro-America” advertisement. This had little effect in slowing the growing anger towards the brand.
Netizens quickly uncovered the individual responsible for the Mulvaney partnership, digging up a now widely circulated video where Heinerscheid vowed to modernize the brand and fix its “fratty” image.
Heinerscheid also said she’d like to make the Bud Light more “female friendly” and attract “young drinkers.”
This initiative has been a disaster. The boycott initially knocked $6 billion from the company’s value. While it has mostly recovered, other beer companies are experiencing a jump in stock prices – such as Molson Coors.
Beer Business Daily reported that Bud Light case sales were down 10.7 percent for the “week ended April 8.”
As the campaign against Bud Light continues on, 40 percent of Americans and 58 percent of Republicans have said they are less likely to purchase the brand going forward. Smaller competitors have also seized the opportunity to knock the beer behemoth from its perch.
People were incensed further when Bud Light CEO Brendan Whitworth issued a statement on April 14. Whitworth failed to “apologize” for the company’s decision to partner with Mulvaney.
He 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.”
Time will tell how this the beer brand recovers.