After Bud Light's Trans Influencer Promo, 2 Execs Are on Leave

Sources say the decision wasn't voluntary
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2023 2:00 AM CDT
Execs Go on Leave Following Bud Light's Trans Influencer Promo
FILE - Cans of Bud Light beer are seen, Thursday Jan. 10, 2019, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Two executives are on leave at Anheuser-Busch following the brouhaha over Bud Light's partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. Alissa Heinerscheid is Bud Light's marketing VP and Daniel Blake, her boss, is in charge of marketing for Anheuser-Busch's mainstream brands, the Wall Street Journal reports. A statement released by the company Tuesday doesn't mention the Mulvaney controversy, but simply says changes have been made "to streamline the structure of our marketing function to reduce layers so that our most senior marketers are more closely connected to every aspect of our brands’ activities." The goal, the statement concludes, is to "maintain focus on the things we do best: brewing great beer for all consumers, while always making a positive impact in our communities and on our country."

Heinerscheid had been harassed by critics of the Mulvaney promo can who found an interview she did in March calling out some previous Bud Light ads for having "fratty, sort of out-of-touch humor"; tabloids and conservative outlets unearthed and published photos of her at a college party in 2006, the New York Times reports. "Given the circumstances, Alissa has decided to take a leave of absence which we support,” an Anheuser-Busch spokesperson said before the Tuesday statement was released. “Daniel has also decided to take a leave of absence.” But sources say those decisions weren't voluntary. The publisher of Beer Business Daily notes of Bud Light, "They seemingly took a stand although they didn’t really back it up that well. They threw it out there and hid, which I think is unfair to Dylan and unfair to the trans community a little bit." (Experts say this controversy will one day be "embarrassing.")

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