Anheuser-Busch, the brewer of the iconic Bud Light brand, recently faced backlash for its partnership with trans-identifying influencer Dylan Mulvaney. The controversy has resulted in a staffing shake-up, with Bud Light’s marketing vice president, Alissa Heinerscheid, being placed on a leave of absence.
Daniel Blake who oversees the marketing for the beer company has also taken a leave of absence.
Daniel Blake, who oversees marketing for Anheuser-Busch’s mainstream brands, has taken a leave of absence following the backlash from the Dylan Mulvaney Bud Light advertising campaign. https://t.co/5vU8yxuWli
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) April 24, 2023
During a Sunday morning appearance on Fox & Friends, Anson Frericks, a former Anheuser-Busch executive, expressed his opinion that the company’s decision to partner with Mulvaney had been “the wrong bet to make.” Frericks suggested that instead of just hoping people would forget, the company should instead steer in the direction the people appear to want them to go.
“I think now is the time to go back and, for companies like Anheuser-Busch, to say that, ‘Hey, moving forward for brands like Bud Light, we’re not going to be political. We’re not going to get involved in the environmental social governance movement because that’s not what the customer wants,’” he said.
The company’s move has sparked a conversation about the role of large companies in promoting political causes. Many companies are choosing to be loyal to political activist groups and use their advertising to promote their companies’ implementation of Environmental Social Governance (ESG) policies. However, Frericks warned that when companies try to be everything to everyone, they end up being accountable to no one.
“What the customer wants with Bud Light is they want to have things that bring us together. They want humor. They want the ‘Dilly Dilly’ guys. They want football. They want the things that bind us together as co-equal citizens here, not necessarily having Bud Light get involved in political controversies that tear us apart. Heck, this is one of the most apolitical brands out there, shared by Democrats and Republicans alike,” he added.
“Unfortunately, when you try to be everything to everyone, you end up being accountable to no one,” he said.
The controversy has resulted in Anheuser-Busch revising its internal policies. In a statement announcing the shake-up, the company explained that the move was designed to ensure that “senior marketers are more closely connected to every aspect of our brand’s activities.”