(NewsNation) —Anheuser-Busch’s vice president of marketing for Bud Light, Alissa Heinerscheid, has reportedly taken a leave of absence from the company following weeks of strong backlash and lost revenue over a controversial ad campaign.
Reports indicate that Heinerscheid was the mastermind behind the campaign, which featured transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
Since the campaign’s launch in March, there has been a significant backlash from several groups.
Music artist Kid Rock even posted a video of himself shooting at Bud Light beers in protest, while Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh called for a boycott of the brand.
The partnership with Mulvaney led to shares of Anheuser-Busch falling by nearly 4% at one point, a value of about $5 billion.
Heinerscheid hoped that the campaign would evolve the brand’s image, but it seems to have done the opposite.
The company’s CEO, Brendan Whitworth, released a statement last week, saying, “We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people. We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer.”
An Anheuser-Busch spokesperson told NewsNation that Todd Allen, an executive already in the company, will replace Heinerscheid.
Anheuser-Busch released a statement, saying:
We communicated some next steps with our internal teams and wholesaler partners. First, we made it clear that the safety and welfare of our employees and our partners is our top priority. Second, Todd Allen is appointed Vice President of Bud Light reporting directly to Benoit Garbe, U.S. Chief Marketing Officer. Third, we have made some adjustments to streamline the structure of our marketing function to reduce layers so that our most senior marketers are more closely connected to every aspect of our brands activities. These steps will help us maintain focus on the things we do best: brewing great beer for all consumers, while always making a positive impact in our communities and on our country.
It remains to be seen what this means for Bud Light’s future campaigns and how the company plans to address the backlash it has received.