A second top Bud Light marketing executive has been placed on leave amid criticism and calls for a boycott over their recent collaboration with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, according to reports. Daniel Blake, who was in charge of Anheuser-Busch's mainstream brands' marketing, resigned from his position on Sunday, the Wall Street Journal reported.
This comes less than two days after Alissa Heinerscheid, who joined as vice president of marketing for the popular beer in June 2022, took a leave of absence and the company replaced her with Budweiser global marketing VP Todd Allen. According to reports, the decision to take the leave was not voluntary for both executives.
Another One Bites the Dust
Blake, who oversees marketing for Anheuser-Busch's mainstream brands, stepped away from the job on Sunday, according to the WSJ. "Given the circumstances, Alissa has decided to take a leave of absence, which we support," an Anheuser-Busch spokeswoman told the Journal. "Daniel has also decided to take a leave of absence."
People familiar with the matter told the Journal that the choice to take leave was not voluntary.
According to the Journal, Blake worked at Anheuser-Busch for close to nine years and was also heavily involved in the marketing of Budweiser and BudLight.
Blake's successor has not yet been made public, but Bud Light said on Friday that Todd Allen, a former global vice president of Budweiser, would take over Heinerscheid's role.
Bud Light's collaboration with Mulvaney, a well-known transgender influencer with over 10 million TikTok followers who became famous for documenting her gender transition on social, sparked a furious outcry.
Heinerscheid's team had created the Bud Light Super Bowl commercial with Miles Teller and his wife Keleigh Sperry, as well as the Bud Light Carry commercial, which shows a lady delivering a round of beers to a group of friends without spilling a drop.
Both the commercials were a major success but the one with Mulvaney backfired.
She has referred to this as her "passion point," and those advertisements were a part of her plan to make the company more appealing to women.
That vision, however, was swiftly cut down on April 3 when the company went into a partnership deal with Mulvaney, a controversial trans activist with a mass following on social media.
Bud Light sent Mulvaney custom-made cans with her face at the conclusion of her transition, which she termed "365 Days of Girlhood." Mulvaney revealed this in an Instagram post on April 1 with the hashtag #budlightpatner. Later, she shared a new video of herself drinking one of the beers in a bathtub.
However, the move was seen as a step too far by Bud Light's devoted patrons, and the brand's connection with Mulvaney was swiftly cut down.
One of the first to slam the partnership and spearhead a boycott was Kid Rock, who was followed by other conservative buyers, sellers, and distributors.
Heinerscheid has not responded to the controversy.
Before launching the partnership and ad featuring Mulvaney in a bathtub, Heinerscheid told the "Make Yourself at Home" podcast that she wanted to transform Bud Light's brand.
"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.
Heinerscheid also slammed Anheuser-Busch's previous branding, saying: "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."
The decision to rope in Mulvaney infuriated many devoted patrons, including country musician Travis Tritt, who decided to remove all the goods from his tour bus, and Kid Rock, who decided to shoot at numerous cases of Bud Lite.
Heinerscheid has led the brand since June. It remains unclear whether Todd Allen, the global vice president of Budweiser, who took her place, would hold the position long-term.