According to the New York Post, Alissa Heinerscheid, the vice president of marketing for Bud Light, has taken a leave of absence. She was the senior marketing executive behind the controversial Dylan Mulvaney ad campaign. Todd Allen, the VP of global marketing for Budweiser, will be replacing her. It is unclear if Heinerscheid’s replacement will be permanent.
Bud Light and its parent company Anheuser-Busch have received significant backlash for partnering with Mulvaney, a transgender influencer. Mulvaney chronicled his gender transition on social media, and at the conclusion, the beer maker sent Mulvaney custom-made cans featuring the social media influencer’s face. Mulvaney announced the partnership on April 1 on Instagram with the hashtag #budlightpartner, and later posted a video enjoying one of the beers in a bathtub.
Before Mulvaney announced the partnership, Heinerscheid discussed her work in transforming the Bud Light brand from its “fratty” and “out of touch” humor to a beer company that embraces inclusivity on the podcast “Make Yourself At Home.”
“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.
Heinerscheid 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 slammed the work of Bud Light’s past branding.
“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.”
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