Marketing Vice President steps back amid controversy with influencer
Alissa Heinerscheid, the marketing vice president for Anheuser-Busch InBev's Bud Light brand, has decided to take a leave of absence. This decision comes in the wake of a boycott campaign against the brand due to its collaboration with transgender social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
In a similar move, Heinerscheid's superior, Daniel Blake, who oversees marketing for Anheuser-Busch's popular Budweiser and Bud Light brands, has also taken a leave of absence. The news was confirmed by a company spokesperson to The Wall Street Journal.
Heinerscheid, who has been in her role since June 2022, will be temporarily replaced by Todd Allen, as per an email from the company. Meanwhile, Blake, who has been with Anheuser-Busch for nearly nine years, still awaits news regarding his replacement.
According to an Anheuser-Busch InBev spokesperson, the company has shared some next steps with its employees and wholesaler partners. These steps prioritize the safety and well-being of everyone involved while appointing Todd Allen as the Vice President of Bud Light. He will report directly to Benoit Garbe, the U.S. Chief Marketing Officer.
In light of recent events, the company has made adjustments to streamline its marketing function and reduce layers. By doing so, it aims to ensure that its most senior marketers are closely connected to every aspect of its brand activities. Anheuser-Busch intends to focus on its core strengths of brewing exceptional beer and making a positive impact within communities and the country.
Dylan Mulvaney, a highly influential figure on social media with 10.8 million followers, collaborated with Bud Light on an Instagram post. In the video shared on April 1, Mulvaney can be seen opening a can of Bud Light and proudly displaying a customized can featuring her image. This celebratory gesture marked her 365th day of womanhood.
Although the post received praise, it also ignited controversy, with conservative commentators calling for a boycott of the brand. Notably, musician Kid Rock even shared a video of himself shooting at cans of Bud Light as a form of protest.
Despite the temporary setbacks, Anheuser-Busch remains committed to its brand integrity and will continue to navigate this challenging period.
The Impact of Bud Light's Advertising Campaign
Recently, Bud Light found itself embroiled in a controversy surrounding its new advertising campaign featuring Dylan Mulvaney. While some praised the brand for its inclusive approach, others criticized it for contributing to the division among people. Responding to the backlash, the head of Bud Light emphasized that their intention was never to create divisiveness but rather to bring people together over a beer.
Despite the positive intentions behind the campaign, Bud Light suffered a setback in terms of sales. According to Beer Business Daily, sales of Bud Light fell by 10.7% in the week ending April 8. This decline prompted Citigroup analyst Simon Hales to comment that the extent of the backlash against Bud Light's advertising campaign was exaggerated.
Interestingly, even before the Mulvaney controversy, Bud Light's Marketing Director, Helga Heinerscheid, had expressed her dissatisfaction with the brand's previous marketing efforts. In a podcast, she described them as "fratty" and "out of touch." Heinerscheid acknowledged that the brand had been in decline for a significant period and believed that attracting younger consumers was crucial for Bud Light's future success.
Despite Bud Light's recent challenges, its parent company, Anheuser-Busch InBev, has seen its shares rise by 9.1% this year, outpacing the S&P 500 and other beverage makers like Constellation Brands, Boston Beer Co., and Diageo PLC. However, rival company Molson Coors Beverage has experienced even greater success, with its shares increasing by 13.2% this year. Analysts at TD Cowen highlighted that Molson Coors benefited from Bud Light consumer boycotts, and Nielsen data suggested strong beer sales for the company.
In conclusion, Bud Light's advertising campaign stirred both praise and criticism. While some welcomed its inclusive approach, others felt that it contributed to division. Regardless, the impact on Bud Light's sales cannot be ignored. However, the reaction to the campaign did little to hinder the overall growth of Anheuser-Busch InBev, and Molson Coors even benefited from consumer boycotts against Bud Light.
AGNC Investment's net book value per share declined due to market volatility, resulting in a 10% drop in share price. Herc Holdings explores alternatives for Ci...
TikTok reveals a concerning trend in the used-car market, potentially indicating a larger economic downturn.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are looking to break out of a stagnant range, with a potential macroeconomic catalyst on the horizon. The upcoming Federal Re...