According to a statement sent to the Wall Street Journal on Sunday by Anheuser-Busch InBev, two of the company’s executives who managed the marketing relationship between Bud Light and transgender TikTok sensation Dylan Mulvaney have been placed on leave.
Alissa Heinerscheid, VP of marketing for Bud Light, and her boss, Daniel Blake, group VP of marketing for Budweiser, received backlash and death threats earlier this month after sending commemorative Bud Light cans featuring the influencer’s likeness to promote a March Madness sweepstakes contest for the company.
According to a statement sent by the firm to the Journal via email, both executives are now on leave from their respective positions.
“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.”
According to the Journal, the choice to go on vacation “wasn’t voluntary” on the side of the executives.
According to a story in Ad Age, Todd Allen, who most recently served as the vice president of global operations for Budweiser, will succeed Heinerscheid as the vice president of marketing for Bud Light.
On April 1st, Mulvaney participated in a marketing promotion for the conclusion of the March Madness by posting a sponsored video on Instagram showing herself sipping a Bud Light. As part of the celebration of her “365 days of girlhood” series on TikTok, which documents her transformation from male to female, Mulvaney uploads a snapshot of a Bud Light can featuring her face in the video. In the post, she says that the commemorative can might “possibly be the best gift ever.”
The tweet incited anger and fury among some Bud Light enthusiasts, leading to demands for the brand to be avoided altogether. Kid Rock, a rapper and performer, has entered the conflict by posting a video to Instagram in which he can be seen donning a Make America Great Again hat and firing an automatic gun at cases of Bud Light.
After the controversy, the chief executive officer of Anheuser-Busch InBev, Brendan Whitworth, issued a statement on April 14 in which he expressed remorse about the controversy produced by the company’s association with Mulvaney. “We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people,” the CEO wrote. “We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer.”