Bud Light's Executive Responsible For Dylan Mulvaney Ad Put On Leave Of Absence—But This Might Not Be The Win We Think It Is

When Bud Light released an advertisement with trans activist Dylan Mulvaney, the internet responded strongly and many banded together to start a boycott of the Anheuser Busch brand.

By Gina Florio3 min read
bud light VP

The transgender movement has seeped into mainstream culture in various different ways, particularly when it comes to brand sponsorships and corporate America. Dylan Mulvaney, a gay man who decided to start a "journey into girlhood" on TikTok, rose quickly to fame and gained millions of followers. He was even able to save up enough money from social media endeavors to get facial feminization surgery and perform a live show for his 365th day of "girlhood." In the last few months, Dylan has racked up a number of sponsored ads with various different brands, from Maybelline to Nike. There was one partnership in particular that stood out: Dylan's ad for Bud Light.

Dylan Mulvaney Was Featured in a Bud Light Ad

Bud Light has long been known to be a low-quality beer that college guys buy in bulk before a frat party. That's why many people were surprised to see that Dylan posted an ad on his Instagram and TikTok pages with a pack of Bud Light. The strange video showed Dylan wearing a black mini dress and a full face of makeup. He sets down several beers on a table and feigns ignorance about March Madness. It looks like a skit in which men make fun of women for being ditzy and not knowing anything about sports, but Dylan is earnest in his display of "girlhood." In another video, he's flailing around and dancing in a bathtub while drinking Bud Light, with a tower of beers behind him. He even showed a picture of a special Bud Light can of beer that had his face on it.

Many people were not only confused by the partnership, but even insulted. Why is this man being hired to portray womanhood? There was so much backlash that people began to talk about a boycott, wondering aloud whether Bud Light's parent company Anheuser Busch understood that its consumer base wasn't on board with gender theory, let alone comfortable with a man parading around in a bathtub while pretending to be a girl who enjoys Bud Light.

After Dylan posted these videos on social media, a clip was shared featuring Alissa Heinerscheid, Bud Light’s VP of Marketing, on a podcast called Make Yourself at Home. She explained why she made the decision to enlist Dylan as the face of Bud Light, pointing to the fact that the brand was "in decline for a really long time" and needed a refresher. "And if we do not attract young drinkers to come and drink this brand, there will be no future for Bud Light," she said, adding that they needed to find a way to "evolve and elevate" the brand.

"What does evolve and elevate mean? It means inclusivity," Alissa said. "It means shifting the tone. It means having a campaign that’s truly inclusive and feels lighter and brighter and different. And appeals to women and to men. And representation is sort of the heart of revolution."

Bud Light Executive Put on a "Leave of Absence"

After the talk of a Bud Light boycott gained more and more traction online, Bud Light responded by putting Alissa on a leave of absence. This breaking news was shared across social media platforms, and many people on the right celebrated this development. They took it as Alissa being fired for making the choice of putting Dylan on the face of a Bud Light can. However, this may not be the win we think it is.

A leave of absence can mean a lot of things, but it certainly doesn't mean she is fired. We like to think that Alissa will suffer some kind of consequences for her folly, but it's more likely that she is being protected by Anheuser Busch due to supposed threats made against Alissa for her commitment to the trans movement.

"She’s not fired. She went to Harvard. Her & her husband are millionaires. She paid 3 woman to have her 3 children for her. These people never ever get fired. She’s still getting paid and will be back to work as soon as she’s out of the news," Twitter user @RobProvince tweeted.

In a 2021 New Yorker article, Alissa was referenced as one of the wealthy families who had the means and resources to suddenly relocate when the coronavirus pandemic hit. She and her husband (and their three children, although the surrogacy claim is not yet confirmed) lived in the heart of New York City, a walking distance away from the Chelsea Anheuser Busch office. When the parks closed, they realized they couldn't stay in New York with three kids under the age of 4. So they picked up everything and moved to San Diego—and were still there at the time the article was written.

Executives like Alissa likely won't suffer any real consequences for PR stunts like this. In fact, this will probably be a boost for her career. Many Twitter users predict that she will fail upwards because of this. "She'll write a book and then get her own MSNBC show," one user wrote.

Reportedly, Bud Light sales are down 17% nationwide as of April 15, reflecting people's disappointment with the brand and its pandering to the trans agenda. Many conservatives are encouraging consumers to keep the pressure on Anheuser Busch and refuse to buy any more of their products in order for them to learn their lesson. But time will tell whether the boycott will have a long-term effect on Bud Light—and whether Alissa's leave of absence ever amounts to anything or if she is going to simply continue on with her successful career.