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Second Anheuser-Busch marketing executive on leave following Dylan Mulvaney controversy

A second Anheuser-Busch marketing executive has taken a leave of absence in the wake of the controversy surrounding its partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.

Daniel Blake, who oversees marketing for Anheuser-Busch’s mainstream brands, is also being placed on leave. Over the weekend, news broke that Bud Light‘s marketing VP, Alissa Heinerscheid, had taken a leave of absence amid the backlash to the Mulvaney fallout and a widespread boycott from Bud Light drinkers. 

Bud Light VP

Bud Light VP Alissa Heinerscheid explains how she brought her personal values to the Bud Light brand. (Make Yourself at Home podcast)

Todd Allen, most recently global vice president of Budweiser, is slated to take over Heinerscheid’s role, but the company has not announced a replacement for Blake. 

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“Given the circumstances, Alissa has decided to take a leave of absence which we support. Daniel has also decided to take a leave of absence,” Anheuser-Busch told the WSJ.

Mulvaney was announced as a Bud Light spokesperson to promote the March Madness basketball tournament this month, which has prompted ridicule and backlash from the media and the public in recent weeks. 

The trans activist showed off cans of Bud Light sent by Anheuser-Busch that featured Mulvaney’s face, celebrating a milestone in her viral “365 Days of Girlhood” series where the influencer detailing her daily experiences in her first year identifying as a transgender woman on TikTok.  

DYLAN MULVANEY bud light

Some people in Nashville said they stopped drinking Bud Light after the brand partnered with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney.  (Instagram)

Heinerscheid was ridiculed after a March 30 interview surfaced where she aired her thoughts on the beer brand, explaining that what she “brought” to the brand was a “belief” 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.”

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Heinerscheid suggested that “representation is sort of at the heart of evolution, you have got to see people who reflect you in the work.”

“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.

Dylan Mulvaney

Dylan Mulvaney has partnered with numerous brands in recent months.  (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

“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. 

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Mulvaney has partnered with a number of prominent brands and was rumored to have a relationship with Tampax, posting to TikTok in 2022 about a proposed partnership.

“When Tampax offers to sponsor you but you don’t have a [cat emoji],” Mulvaney shared at the time. 

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Nike received backlash last week after Mulvaney appeared in paid social media content dancing in Nike women’s sports bras. The brand doubled down on its decision to feature Mulvaney as a paid ambassador to promote the company’s female clothing, telling customers to, “Be kind, be inclusive … Encourage each other.”

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