Two Anheuser-Busch InBev executives who organised Bud Light’s advert with TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney have been put on leave. Alissa Heinerscheid, vice president of marketing for Bud Light, and Daniel Blake, Budweiser’s group vice president for marketing, faced death threats for their collaboration with the transgender influencer.
“Given the circumstances, Alissa has decided to take a leave of absence which we support,” an Anheuser-Busch spokesperson said in the email. “Daniel has also decided to take a leave of absence.”
In a blatant attempt to appeal to their lost audience, Bud Light cans will be branded with a camouflage pattern for a short time.
Why are the executives losing their jobs in the first place?
Budweiser has been met with conservative backlash after the decision to partner with transgender Tiktok Dylan Mulvaney in an advert.
The TikTok star posted a video promoting the Bud Light’s March Madness contest which gave customers the chance to win $15,000, and the company also sent the influencer a can with her likeness to commemorate one year since she transitioned genders.
Conservatives have taken the opportunity to attack a publicly visible transgender person by boycotting the brand. Analysts say these sales drops are due to the advert due to other comparable companies posting healthy sales.
If Bud Light/Dylan Mulvaney was any indication, the entire conservative media ecosphere is going to go ballistic starting midnight on May 31. Every store will be draped in rainbows and every product willl have pro-LGBTQ marketing for June. It’s already starting with Target
— Kat Tenbarge (@kattenbarge) May 17, 2023
According to data from Bump Williams Consulting, parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev sold $71.5 million worth of Bud Light in the week ending 29 April, a 23% drop compared to a year ago. Budweiser sales totaled $31.5 million that same week, down roughly 11%.
Biden administration press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said of a bomb threat against one of the brewery’s facilities that “violence and vitriol against transgender Americans has to stop.”
Budweiser distancing themselves from the advert has also irked supporters of Mulvaney, who see the retraction of the company as a capitulation to the right-wing.