Bud Light executive takes leave after boycott calls, reports say

NEW YORK (AP) — The marketing executive who oversaw a partnership between Bud Light and a transgender influencer is taking a leave of absence after it snowballed into cries for a boycott from some angry customers, according to media reports.

Alyssa Heinerscheid, Bud Light’s vice president of marketing, will be replaced by Todd Allen, most recently Budweiser’s global vice president, reports Beer Business Daily and Ad Age.

A spokeswoman for Bud Light’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch InBev, did not directly confirm the leave on Saturday, but said Allen will report directly to Benoit Garpe, chief U.S. marketing officer, as Bud Light’s vice president. As the company becomes more closely aligned with all of its brand operations, its senior marketers have made streamlining changes.

The collaboration between the blue-engraved beer brand and Dylan Mulvaney, who has over 10.8 million followers on social media, hit the internet on April 1st. That’s when Mulvaney posted a video on Instagram showing him opening a can of Bud Light. With the hashtag #budlightpartner.

As the country continues to diversify, companies have expanded their efforts to attract customers and employees across ethnic, cultural and other lines. In many cases, their own partners have made them more inclusive in the hope of improved returns.

Earlier this monthBud Light said, “Anheuser-Busch works with hundreds of influencers across our brands, which is one of the many ways we truly connect with audiences across different demographics.”

But the Bud Light-Mulvaney partnership soon brought an onslaught of criticism from those who said they were angry that the world was “waking up.” Musician Kid Rock posted a video of himself shooting cans of Bud Light with a gun.

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Shares of U.S.-traded Anheuser-Busch InBev fell 1.8% after an April 1 video of Mulvaney showing him consuming Bud Light. But the stock has outperformed the U.S. stock market, as measured by the S&P 500, by 9.1% year-to-date.

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