Anheuser-Busch recently fired the ad agency responsible for the Dylan Mulvaney partnership and notified its distributors in a letter that it has taken the action while not naming which agency was responsible, according to a report from the New York Post.
On Thursday, Anheuser-Busch CEO Michel Doukeris told investors that there was "misinformation" being spread about the partnership and said "we need to clarify the fact that this was one can, one influencer, one post, and not a campaign."
The controversy started when Mulvaney posted a picture of a Bud Light can featuring the influencer's face and thanked the brand with the hashtag #budlightpartner. Subsequent backlash cost the brand billions in market value. One Texas based distributor speaking on the situation said, "ad agencies send out hundreds of influencer kits a year, some of which have a customized can included. This was one of those situations."
The brand initially defended the decision to send the can, they said the brand "works with hundreds of influencers across our brands as one of many ways to authentically connect with audiences across various demographics and passion points. 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."
On April 21st, it was announced that Bud Light's VP of Marketing, Alissa Heinerscheid, was placed on a leave of absence.
"The single can was produced by a third-party ad agency, not Anheuser-Busch," claimed John Skeffington of Skeff Distributing who added that his distribution has been "negatively impacted by this unfortunate event."
Doukeris announced that the brand would be tripling media spending in an attempt to recoup the losses and said, "We want to reiterate our support for our wholesaler partners and everyone who brings our great beers to the market. I can tell you that we have the agility, resources, and people to support the US team and move forward."
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