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Bud Light’s Vice President of Marketing Alissa Heinerscheid isn’t the only now on a leave of absence following backlash over the company’s partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
According to a statement from Bud Light parent company Anheuser-Busch, Heinerscheid’s boss, Daniel Blake, is also on a leave of absence.
“Given the circumstances, Alissa has decided to take a leave of absence which we support,” an Anheuser-Busch spokeswoman said in an email, reports The Wall Street Journal. “Daniel has also decided to take a leave of absence.”
Those leave of absences weren’t voluntary, however, according to the Journal’s sources.
While no replacement was announced for Blake, Todd Allen, who had been serving as global marketing VP for Budweiser, will take over Heinerscheid’s role.
In an early statement responding to criticism, an Anheuser-Busch spokesperson noted that the company “works with hundreds of influencers across our brands as one of many ways to authentically connect with audiences across various demographics.” Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth later said the company “never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people. We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer.”
The partnership has triggered a massive boycott effort by conservatives, with singer Kid Rock drawing a viral response for posting a video shooting cases of Bud Light and saying, “F*** Bud Light and f*** Anheuser-Busch.”
Struggling to figure out how to recover its brand image, the company has reportedly hired two consultants “with experience in Washington, D.C.’s, conservative circles to advise the brand moving forward,” according to Fox News.
I nearly choked on my coffee this morning when I saw this ridiculous statement in a news article:
“Bud Light has also hired two consultants with experience in Washington, D.C.’s conservative circles to advise the brand moving forward.”
Are they kidding me? This ranks up there… pic.twitter.com/2giCd9YwFq
— giovanni gallucci (@gastroverite) April 23, 2023
Former Anheuser-Busch executive Anson Frericks said the company should go back to being apolitical.
“I think now is the time to go back and, for companies like Anheuser-Busch, to say that, ‘Hey, moving forward for brands like Bud Light, we’re not going to be political,” he told Fox News’s Will Cain on Sunday. “We’re not going to get involved in the environmental social governance movement because that’s not what the customer wants.”
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