Anheuser-Busch has placed another top marketing executive on leave after one of its top brands, Bud Light, ignited controversy over its decision to partner with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney for a paid marketing engagement.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Daniel Blake, who is in charge of marketing for Anheuser-Busch’s mainstream brands, has been placed on leave over the incident.
Blake is the boss of Bud Light Vice President of Marketing Alissa Heinerscheid, who was also placed on leave late last week.
“Given the circumstances, Alissa has decided to take a leave of absence which we support,” an Anheuser-Busch spokeswoman said in an email. “Daniel has also decided to take a leave of absence.”
The report said that sources familiar with the matter indicated their decision to take a leave of absence was not voluntary.
The report said that Anheuser-Busch is making internal adjustments within its marketing department to ensure that “senior staff are fully connected to decisions about brand activities.”
“These steps will help us 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,” the company said.
After the controversy erupted with Mulvaney, video surfaced of remarks that Heinerscheid made during a recent podcast in which she championed inclusivity and trying to change Bud Light’s brand.
“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 during the podcast.
She said she had a “super clear” mandate “to evolve and elevate this incredibly iconic brand.” Heinerscheid said she aimed 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.”
“Representation is sort of at the heart of evolution, you have got to see people who reflect you in the work,” the marketing exec continued. “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.”
Alissa Heinerscheid, Bud Light’s VP of Marketing, doubles down on her extreme woke strategy to promote the “declining” American beer brand to “young people”, while smearing her former customers as “fratty and out of touch”.
— Old Row (@OldRowOfficial) April 9, 2023