Anheuser-Busch’s new hires prove the company is desperate to rehab their image among conservatives

Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of Bud Light, has been accused of trying to desperately repair its tarnished image amid the ongoing controversy over its relationship with “transgender woman” Dylan Mulvaney.

Specifically at issue is the company’s decision to hire a team of former GOP staffers to lobby Congress.

Disclosure forms viewed by Fox Business Network show that a couple weeks ago, Anheuser-Busch hired the lobbying firm Origin Advocacy, LLC to represent the company on “general policy regarding the alcohol-beverage industry.”

The two specific lobbyists assigned to the task have been identified as Origin founder Sean McClean and Origin partner Emily Lynch, both reportedly veteran GOP aides.

“McClean is a former legislative director for Sen. Ted Cruz (R, Texas) and White house liaison for the Commerce Department under President Trump, and was previously legislative director to now-Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R, Tenn.) when she served in the House,” Fox Business Network reported early Friday evening.

“Lynch was previously a legislative assistant to former Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R, N.H.), served in the same role for Rep. Virginia Foxx (R, N.C.), and was also previously an executive assistant to the Republican staff director for the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee,” the conservative network added.

This decision to hire Origin prompted a fierce clapback from the American Accountability Foundation (AAF), a conservative opposition research group reportedly founded in 2020 to attack then-Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden.

In a recent newsletter entry, AAF president Tom Jones accused McLean and Lynch of “trying to red-wash Bud Light’s disastrous decision to partner with a man pretending to be a woman.”

“They’re even making the shamefully offensive equivalency argument that their transgender activist beer can is just like their beer can honoring WWII vets. They’re telling offices that Anheuser-Busch also sometimes creates commemorative cans such as the Honor Flight. If partnering with a trans activist wasn’t shameful enough equating Dylan Mulvaney to a World War II hero is really beyond the pale,” the entry reads.

Reached for comment by Fox Business Network, AAF said in a statement that if Bud Light wants to earn back the trust of conservatives, it should issue a genuine apology and reverse course instead of continuing its relationship with Mulvaney.

“If Bud Light wants to regain the trust of conservative customers, they should apologize for insulting their values by embracing the woke left’s radical gender agenda instead of wasting their money on lobbyists. Bud Light sided with the Left against the average American and no amount of D.C. lobbyists in fancy suits will make them forget that,” the statement reads.

As previously reported, when the controversy over Mulvaney first erupted, Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth issued a statement touting the company’s long history and devotion to its employees along with a mea culpa that it never meant to divide people. However, the statement was noticeably devoid of a real apology.

All this comes only days after Anheuser-Busch switched up Bud Light’s marketing team.

“Alissa Heinerscheid, marketing VP for the brand since June 2022, has taken a leave of absence, the brewer confirmed, and will be replaced by Todd Allen, who was most recently global marketing VP for Budweiser,” AdAge magazine reported a week ago.

While no reason was offered for the abrupt switch, AdAge noted that, according to a statement from an Anheuser-Busch distributor out of Kansas, Heinerscheid’s decision to involve the company with Mulvaney “circumvented the proper approval channels.”

Heinerscheid’s ouster followed a recent interview she did with the “Make Yourself At Home” podcast in which she’d touted her efforts at making Bud Light’s marketing more “inclusive” and, ultimately, leftist.

“I’m a businesswoman, I had a really clear job to do when I took over Bud Light, and it was this brand is in decline, it’s been in a decline for a really long time, and if we do not attract young drinkers to come and drink this brand, there will be no future for Bud Light,” she’d said on the podcast.

“So I had this super clear mandate. It’s like we need to evolve and elevate this incredibly iconic brand, and what I brought to that was a belief in — OK, what does evolve and elevate mean? It means inclusivity, 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,” she’d added.

She went on to attack the brand’s past marketing efforts.

“And representation is at sort of the heart of that evolution. You gotta see people who reflect you in the work. And we had this hangover. I mean, Bud Light had been kind of a brand of fratty, kind of out-of-touch humor, and it was really important that we had another approach,” she said.

Vivek Saxena

Comment

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

Latest Articles