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Anheuser-Busch Implements Changes in Response to Dylan Mulvaney Controversy

Anheuser-Busch Implements Changes in Response to Dylan Mulvaney Controversy

Anheuser-Busch, the beer giant behind Budweiser and Bud Light, is making significant changes to its marketing leadership in the wake of the controversy surrounding the brand’s partnership with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney. Alissa Heinerscheid, the VP of Marketing for Bud Light who had led the brand since June, will be replaced by Todd Allen, the global marketing VP for Budweiser. Heinerscheid was the first woman to lead Bud Light in the brand’s 40-year history and was recognized as one of the rising stars in the marketing industry. She will be taking a leave of absence.

The partnership between Anheuser-Busch and Mulvaney, which included a custom can featuring Mulvaney's face, drew intense backlash from many prominent Americans, including Rep. Dan Crenshaw, Kid Rock, and Travis Tritt. Anheuser-Busch faced other problems as well, including canceled events with the iconic Budweiser Clydesdale horses and a dip in its stock price.

Heinerscheid had proposed the Mulvaney partnership as a way to attract young drinkers to the Bud Light brand, emphasizing inclusivity and a campaign that appeals to both women and men. However, senior executives at Anheuser-Busch were reportedly not consulted about the partnership, and some distributors complained that it had "circumvented the proper approval channels."

In response to the controversy, Anheuser-Busch is streamlining its marketing function to reduce layers and ensure that its most senior marketers are more closely connected to every aspect of its brands activities. Todd Allen will report directly to Benoit Garbe, U.S. Chief Marketing Officer. Anheuser-Busch's CEO Brendan Whitworth acknowledged the controversy in a statement, stating that the company never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people and that it is in the business of bringing people together over a beer.

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