‘Just One Single Can’: Anheuser-Busch Distances from Mulvaney Scandal

Instagram/Dylan MulvaneyGoogle
Instagram/Dylan MulvaneyGoogle

Anheuser-Busch sent a letter to wholesalers addressing the controversy surrounding Bud Light’s collaboration with transgender TikTok personality Dylan Mulvaney.

The letter, first reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Daniel Neman, comes a month after Mulvaney posted a TikTok video celebrating his 365 day of “being a woman” with a Bud Light can that featured his face. Mulvaney posted other videos posing with the beverage, including one of him splashing around in a foamy bubble bath with a tower of Bud Light in the background.

Neman wrote:

A-B’s letter was forwarded to retailers, bars and restaurants by Grey Eagle, a Fenton-based company that distributes Anheuser-Busch products to a 14-county region around St. Louis. Grey Eagle does not distribute to the city of St. Louis, Jefferson County and parts of Washington and Iron counties.

“This was one single can given to one social media influencer,” the letter states. “It was not made for production or sale to the general public. This can is not a formal campaign or advertisement.”

In a cover letter associated with the note to wholesalers, Grey Eagle stated, “Anheuser-Busch did not intend to create controversy or make a political statement.”

However, news of the partnership led to widespread videos of Americans destroying Bud Light cases and cans, echoing the mantra, “Go Woke, Go Broke.” The company suffered a market value loss of more than $6 billion in the days after the promotional partnership, Breitbart News reported.

The can branding had been done through an outside marketing agency without the approval of higher management, according to Grey Eagle.

In the aftermath of the marketing decision, Vice President of Marketing Alissa Heinerscheid took a leave of absence and Todd Allen — formerly the global president of Budweiser — has since been named the new vice president of marketing for Bud Light as Breitbart News noted.

The St. Louis based brewery was bought out in 2009 by Belgian-based InBev. The change in ownership led to a dip in marketing as the foreign-born markets were not privy to American culture, Robert Lachky, the former chief creative officer at Anheuser-Busch, told the Post-Dispatch.

Lachky said it doesn’t look like the company, with their now all-American marketing, has any clue about their customer base.


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