AB Senior Execs Say Mulvaney Partnership 'Was a Mistake' as Beer Sales Hit Bottom of the Barrel

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File

There is an old saying that “money talks.” However, in the case of beer giant Anheuser-Busch (AB InBev), it is the definite lack of money that it appears senior company executives are beginning to take notice of as a result of the Bud Light ad campaign featuring transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.


Company stock has dropped roughly $6 billion, and the company’s market capitalization, which measures the total share value, plummeted from $132.38 billion to $125.73 billion. As a result, those same senior company executives are now saying that Bud Light’s partnership with Mulvaney “was a mistake,” and not approved by any senior-level management. Those same executives are now frantically trying to repair the mountains of damage done to the brand.

It was Mulvaney himself who made the partnership public by posting a beer can with his likeness on it online. Anheuser-Busch then confirmed the alliance, but stated that Mulvaney was just one of “hundreds of influencers” the company was associated with in order to “authentically connect” with their customers. They also went on to say of the personalized beer can with Mulvaney’s picture: “From time to time, we produce unique commemorative cans for fans and for brand influencers, like Dylan Mulvaney. This commemorative can was a gift to celebrate a personal milestone and is not for sale to the general public.” Clearly, the thought that this influencer would “authentically connect” with the core base of Bud Light customers was both bad and wrong.


Alissa Heinerscheid is the Vice President of marketing, and apparently has never heard the phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” She described the image of the brand as “fratty” and “out of touch,” and decided it needed a makeover. What it got was evidently a woke makeover. Heinerscheid also stated:

Like we need to evolve and elevate this incredibly iconic brand. And what I brought to that was a belief in ok what does evolve and elevate mean? It means inclusivity, it means shifting the tone. It means having a campaign that’s truly inclusive and feels lighter and brighter and appeals to women and to men. And representation is sort of at the heart of evolution.

The new marketing campaign immediately proved to be the wrong one, with many saying that Anheuser-Busch had disrespected their core base of consumers, essentially throwing them under the bus in order to attract a whole new base. Gareth Boyd is the Marketing and PR Director at Forte Analytica. He stated that it was a decision that “doesn’t make sense.”


Heinerscheid might be the Veep in the Marketing department at Bud Light, but the “mistake” of partnering with Mulvaney is being blamed on “low-level marketing staffers.” But for all of Alissa Heinerscheid’s talk of the Bud Light brand being fratty and out of touch, and her woke keywords of inclusivity and evolution, she has had a few “fratty” moments of her own. On the heels of those comments, photos of her surfaced from a Harvard social club event in 2005, which showed Heinerscheid with other event attendees appearing to chug beer and blow up condoms. So much for inclusivity and evolution. In addition to sales tanking, several entertainers like country music stars John Rich and Travis Tritt have dropped Bud Light as sponsors of their tours.

As a result of the economic debacle, Anheuser-Busch will undoubtedly in the future review its partnership policies, to avoid any repeats of the Dylan Mulvaney situation. It is unclear whether anyone will lose their job over keeping senior-level management in the dark about the decision to partner with Mulvaney. Alissa Heinerscheid has more than likely now heard another phrase: “Go woke go broke.” It might be a good time for Anheuser-Busch to revive the “Real Men of Genius” ad campaign with something like, “Today we salute you Mr. (Ms.) fratty, out of touch, but woke V.P. of Marketing.”


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