Anheuser-Busch decided to shake up its marketing leadership after its Bud Light brand became, quite literally, a target for conservatives angered by a campaign featuring a transgender social media influencer.
Alissa Heinerscheid, who oversaw Bud Light’s marketing, has taken “leave of absence” and Todd Allen, vice president of global marketing for Budweiser, has been appointed, Beer Daily Business reported.
Anheuser-Busch confirmed Allen’s new roles in a statement to USA TODAY: “We’ve made some adjustments to streamline the structure of our marketing function to reduce layers so that our most experienced marketers are more closely connected. to all aspects of our brands’ business.”
These measures, the statement said, “will help us stay focused on the things we do best: brewing great beer for all consumers, while always having a positive impact on our communities and our country.”
The actions come after prominent conservatives slammed Bud Light for teaming up with TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney to promote a contest. In a April 1 Instagram postMulvaney showed off a personalized Bud Light can with an image of his face printed on the front and discussed the company’s March Madness-related $15,000 giveaway.
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Subsequently, some curators including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis And Senator Dan Crenshaw, R-Texasas well as musicians Kid Rock and Travis Tritt, called for a boycott of Bud Light. Kid Rock posted on Twitter a video of himself filming 12 packs of Bud Light.
The Anheuser-Busch backlash also comes in the middle of a climb In anti-trans legislation.
Anheuser-Busch CEO’s response to the backlash
Last week, Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth issued a statement in response to the controversy, saying, “We never intended to be part of a divisive discussion,” wrote in a statement released Friday afternoon. “We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer..”
Anheuser-Busch’s decision was confirmed by Ad agewho had named her among its 40 laureates under 40 in September 2022.
In an interview on the Make yourself at home podcast last month – before the Bud Light-Mulvaney video was released – Heinerschied said her charge was to help Bud Light, which she described as a “declining” brand to “attract young drinkers”.
Bud Light, she said on the podcast, “had been kind of fratty, kind of disconnected humor and it was really important that we had another approach.”
In related news, a Bud Light failed to put up a billboard in Toronto saying ‘lol CRYBABIES’, after the brand was targeted by a boycott over its partnership with Mulvaney. Modified images of the billboard were being shared online, The Associated Press reported.
Shares of Anheuser-Busch InBev are up 5.3% over the past month, closing at $65.52 on Friday.
Contributor: Bailey Schulz
Follow Mike Snider on Twitter: @mikesnider.
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