The Bud Light marketing executive who oversaw a partnership between the company and a transgender influencer is taking a leave of absence after drawing calls for boycotts from angry customers, according to reports by Beer Business Daily and Ad Age.
According to reports, Todd Allen, the global vice president of Budweiser, will be taking over as the new vice president of marketing for Bud Light, replacing Alissa Heinerscheid.
On April 1, a video featuring popular influencer Dylan Mulvaney opening a can of Bud Light went viral, and this video resulted in customer dissatisfaction with the beer brand. The influencer, who has 10.8 million followers on TikTok and 1.8 million on Instagram, was featured as part of an inclusivity campaign, as she is also known for meeting with President Joe Biden last year to discuss issues transgender Americans face.
However, backlash has been so bad that Bud Light’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch, said that "several" of its facilities have received threats.
On April 13, a bomb squad unit was sent to a facility in Los Angeles after police there confirmed they received a threat via email.
"The safety of our employees is always our top priority," a companyspokesperson told CNN, adding that they quickly took care of the situation.
After Bud Light partnered with Mulvaney for promotional posts in an effort to attract a younger audience, the ad led to right-wing criticism.
Musician Kid Rock posted a video showing him literally taking aim at the company and shooting up a case of Bud Light.
Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene postedthat she would be switching to the beer brand Coors.
Other conservatives even called for a boycott.
Last week, White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre addressed the dangerous rhetoric and threats transgender Americans face in response to the boycott.
"When a transgender American posts a video about a brand of beer they enjoy and it leads to bomb threats, it’s clear that that level of violence and vitriol against transgender Americans has to stop," Jean-Pierre said.
Mulvaney is not the only influencer Bud Light has partnered with, and CEO Brendan Whitworth said in a statement last week that the company "never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people. We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer.”
While Bud Light has received backlash, many Americans and even some lawmakers have come forward in support of the company.
Still, a Rasmussen pollfound that 54% of adults in America support boycotting Bud Light.
Scripps News has reached out to Anheuser-Busch for comment on the staff changes but has yet to hear back.
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