Bud Light replaces marketing exec behind Dylan Mulvaney partnership: report

The Bud Light senior marketing executive behind the controversial Dylan Mulvaney ad campaign has taken a leave of absence, according to a report.

Alissa Heinerscheid, vice president of marketing for the popular beer, will be replaced by Budweiser global marketing VP Todd Allen, AdAge reported on Friday.

Heinerscheid has led the brand since June. It’s unclear if her replacement will be permanent.

The move comes as Bud Light and its parent company Anheuser-Busch have faced immense backlash for its partnership with Mulvaney, a transgender influencer who rose to fame chronicling her gender transition on social media.

At the conclusion of Mulvaney’s transition she dubbed “365 Days of Girlhood,” the beer maker sent the activist custom-made can’s featuring her face, which she revealed in an April 1 Instagram post with the hashtag #budlightpatner. She later posted another video enjoying one of the beers in a bathtub.

A day before Mulvaney announced the partnership, Heinerscheid was interviewed on the podcast “Make Yourself At Home,” where she discussed her work in transforming the Bud Light brand from its “fratty” and “out of touch” humor to a beer company that embraces inclusivity.

Alissa Heinerscheid, Bud Light's vice president of marketing
Alissa Heinerscheid has taken a leave of absence after Bud Light’s partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney sparked outrage.

Dylvan Mulvaney drinking Bud Light
Mulvaney announced her partnership with the beer on April 1.
Dylan Mulvaney/Instagram

“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 said she brought “belief” to the brand that to evolve and elevate means to incorporate “inclusivity, it means shifting the tone, it means having a campaign that’s truly inclusive, and feels lighter and brighter and different, and appeals to women and to men.”

She also disparaged the work of Bud Light’s past branding. 

Bud Light can with Dylan Mulvaney's face
Bud Light sent the 26-year-old trans influencer beer cans featuring her face.
Dylan Mulvaney/Instagram

Todd Allen
Vice President Global Marketing, Budweiser at Anheuser-Busch InBev
Heinerscheid will be replaced by Budweiser global marketing VP Todd Allen.
Todd Allen/Linked In

“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,” she said.

After her comments went viral amid the controversy, critics called Heinerscheid a hypocrite when photos surfaced appearing to show the exec enjoying the “fratty” culture she dismissed while a student at Harvard.

Heinerscheid was mocked after images on her now-deleted Facebook page showed her at a campus scavenger hunt, blowing up condoms like balloons, and downing beers during a 2006 “boozefest.”

Despite the immediate backlash from the partnership with Mulvaney, Bud Light initially defended the move before later offering a half-hearted apology to its loyal customers last week.

“We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people,” Anheuser-Busch InBev CEO Brendan Whitworth said in a press release. “We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer.”

In the weeks after Bud Light’s partnership with Mulvaney, Anheuser-Busch saw its value plummet more than $5 billion.

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