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Elizabeth Hitch And Sofia Colucci: Who Are The Two Women Under Fire For Miller Lite’s Feminist Ad?

Haley Kennington

Miller Lite’s new pro-women advertisement has people talking – for all the wrong reasons.

The ad, which has gone viral in the last few days, encourages beer brands to end their history of using sexualized women in advertisements. Miller Lite more or less promised to literally turn its old, “sexist” materials into fertilizer for female brewers.

The advert has invited mockery. But it also asks the question: who is once again behind a terrible piece of brand marketing?

With a little digging, it is clear that Miller Lite’s parent company, Molson Coors, has hired two particular ladies who appear to be responsible for the “inclusive” actions the company continues to take. And, we’re not sure if that’s for the better.

Miller Lite’s senior director of marketing Elizabeth Hitch was hired by Molson Coors on March 1st, 2023. By March 7th, she had come out with a campaign called ”Bad $#!T to good $#!T” that promised to give beer drinkers a different take on their favorite beverage, feminism.

Elizabeth Hitch

Nothing like a cold, frothy glass of guilt on a hot summer day.

The campaign itself was first rolled out in March in celebration of Women’s History Month and centered around who Miller Lite claims to be the first beer bewers – women.

The campaign’s main ad, which featured “comedian” Ilana Glazer, only exacerbated how some view feminist initiatives. The advertisement was nagging. It denounced the company’s past use of ladies in bikinis to sell their product.

Hitch was more offended by women being highlighted as sexy than she was by cussing in her latest campaign slogan.

At the time, Hitch said that the brand recognizes the “contributing role” it played in sexism in the past.

“We’ve been collecting our and other brands outdated, old sexist ads, displays and posters for months. We have been buying and removing any pieces we could find on the internet,” she said.

The brand has been collecting old “sexist” adverts and turning them into fertilizer that will later be used to enhance more than 1,000 pounds of hops. Those hops will later be donated to hundreds of female brewers and make roughly 330,000 beers, according to Forbes.

Hitch said the company hoped to achieve “both measurable impact and feel-good vibes,” though they’ve seen the opposite be true.

As a matter of fact, it went unnoticed completely until this month, post Dylan Mulvaney-Bud Light controversy. The campaign itself was an extension of Miller Lite’s Mary Lisle cans that were released in 2022, highlighting the female brewer.

The same news release from the company in March noted it would be donating $60,000 to the “Pink Boots Society,” which according to their website states that they “aim to assist, inspire and encourage women and non-binary individuals in the fermented/alcoholic beverage industry to advance their careers through education.”

What’s odd is in the same month that the Miller Lite ”Bad $#!T to good $#!T” campaign was boosted into relevance, Oakley sunglasses launched a campaign for their Racing Jacket glasses that featured a naked Amaury Pierron to sell their glasses.

Pierron is a French downhill mountain biker. With the sunglass company’s online customer base ranging somewhere between 60 to 65 percent male, it seems like an odd choice to use a naked man in advertisements.

How can so many brands be this out of touch with their customer base? One would think they’d have that down to a science at this point. Perhaps this is another case of the pendulum swinging drastically in the opposite direction.

Hailing from Chicago, Illinois, Hitch has held other positions within the company including regional business analyst, marketing manager, and associate brand manager, to name a few.

Though her LinkedIn has apparently been removed from the website, according to SportsKeeda, “Hitch obtained her MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing and finance from Marquette University.”

Hitch was not alone in the new “anti-sexist” campaign adverts.

Sofia Colucci was also hired on as Molson Coors Beverage Company’s new chief marketing officer on the same day as Hitch. Colucci took over Michelle St. Jacques’ role in the company as CMO, while St. Jacques was promoted to the brand’s chief commercial officer.

Sofia Colucci
Sofia Colucci

In one interview, Colucci said the brand is “doing things that are culturally relevant.”

Colucci, who says she is Canadian-Uruguayan, also worked for Maple Leaf Foods, a Canadian food company, before moving on to PepsiCo for eight years, and now Molson Coors.

“Brands need to have a point of view and show up in culturally relevant ways,” Colucci said, calling her latest campaign “laser-focused.”

She mentions a campaign from 2021 called “Shoezies” which partnered with New Balance to make beer coozies resembling the shoe brand’s heels in celebration of Father’s Day.

The tone-deaf campaign combined Miller Lite’s “The Father of Light Beer” and New Balance’s “Dad Shoe” taglines.

The Molson Coors brand has worked relentlessly in the last several years to become more inclusive. Most of this year’s efforts have been spearheaded by Hitch and Colucci.

In 2022 the beer brand partnered with reggaeton artist J Balvin to rope in more of their Latin base using the singer’s signature lightning bolt on cans and packaging.

The brand’s “Open and Proud” campaign was launched in June of 2021 in conjunction with the Equality Federation to make “55,000 bars that serve Miller Lite become more inclusive to the LGBTQ+ community through local town halls, training guide development and implementation, plus continued support to our friends at Equality Federation and their important advocacy work.”

The “Open and Proud” campaign sent training materials to these bars that advocated not only for building a staff of Black, Indigenous, and BIPOC, but noted allowing “transgender or gender non-conforming individuals to use the restroom of the gender that they identify with” went a long way in “fostering inclusion.”

The materials also said that doing so would “help alleviate any discomfort that members of the LGBTQ+ community may feel, particularly transgender and/or nonconforming individuals.”

In addition, there is special attention paid to “fostering an inclusive establishment” by “affirming inclusivity as a priority during staff meetings or your hiring process.”

According to the “Open and Proud” website, Miller Lite has contributed more than $450,000 to Equality Federation “to cultivate change.”

Meanwhile, Jeff Bezo’s ex-wife MacKenzie Scott donated $2 million to the Equality Federation in 2022.

Colucci said, “Our number one value at Molson Coors, is to put people first. And so I personally make an effort to practice that mindset every day and uphold a culture of inclusivity and collaboration.”

Colucci said she plans to continue to work closely with St. Jacques and use her “special sauce” to bring “our collective Molson Coors brands to the next level.”

“There are really three things that I’m focusing on. One is balancing breakthrough creative with a smart commercial approach to drive those tangible short- and long-term results. The second is building truly inclusive brands. And that’s not just to be good corporate citizens, because we actually deeply believe that’s what’s going to drive growth. And then the third thing is being the best possible client for agency partners,” Colluci said.

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Haley Kennington

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