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Why are California and Other Large Companies Using Instagram Influencer's like Dylan Mulvaney to Sell Their Products? It's Not What You Think
April 14, 2023 | Stefanie Daubert
If you go on Instagram, or TikTok, you will see a video or reel of Dylan Mulvaney.
Mulvaney gets many sponsors from different products, from makeup companies, @Nikewomen’s newest leggings and sports bra, to now Bud Light, for him to create videos and reels showing himself with the item being sponsored, and he makes money doing that.
The controversy that has been written about in articles, blogs, and in television headlines is in regard to a video that Mulvaney posted on April 1st, showing himself carrying a group of Bud Light cans.
After opening a can and taking a sip, Mulvaney states that this month he celebrated his day 365 of womanhood and Bud Light sent him the “best gift ever…a can with my face on it.” He then shows the camera the can of Bud Light with his face on it. He is an open transgender female.
From the moment that Instagram video went out the comments came, both for Bud Light to be more inclusive and those against it.
A person called mackpine stated, “Why are people so offended by **** that doesn’t impact them in any way shape or form? Maybe just move along and live and let live. This is hurting literally no one.”
“#BoycottBudlight stop degrading women,” picklejjpp stated next.
Comments continued until it not only became a trending topic on Twitter for days and still is now, to the sales of Bud Light taking huge losses.
Bud Light’s VP Aliossa Heinerscheid spoke on a business podcast on March 30th and claimed that Anheuser-Busch beer had been in decline for a really long time.
This is in direct opposition to what Anheuser-Busch says themselves, stating that Bud Light has been America’s number one brew with a market share of more than 13 percent.
Busch hired Alissa Heinerscheid, a Harvard graduate, who stated that “it was essential” that the brand attract more female and younger drinkers.
Heinerscheid’s LinkedIn profile stated that she is the first female to lead the largest beer brand in the industry.
She stated that she had a clear goal and mandate ‘to evolve and elevate this incredibly iconic brand.’
The decision of Bud Light to use influencer Mulvaney as a spokesperson for the product, is that other influencers, such as country singer Travis Tritt and singer Kid Rock got rid of the product from their tour busses, shows, and for singer Jon Rich, he stopped selling Bud Light in his Redneck Riviera Bar.
After all of this negative publicity, Bud Light became silent on social media. After sending them an email on April 10th, I questioned them about their media silence, and asked them to give me a statement about whether or not using Dylan Mulvaney as a spokesperson has anything to do with wanting to raise their Corporate Equality Index Score, this was the response:
Anheuser-Busch works with hundreds of influencers across our brands as one of many ways to authentically connect with audiences across various demographics. 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.” – Anheuser-Busch spokesperson.
Daily Mail.com, in a story titled, “Bud Light’s VP says she wanted to update the ‘fratty’ and ‘out of touch’ branding with ‘inclusivity’ days before Dylan Mulvaney’s controversial partnership with beer was unveiled,” stole the email statement that was given to me by Michael Goon and passed it off as a statement that they got themselves. The news site was contacted but have not received any response yet.
What is a Corporate Equality Index Score?
It was asked to Bud Light in the email, if hiring Dylan Mulvaney as a spokesperson was to raise the company’s Corporate Index Score. Mr. Goon did not answer that question, but it is one reason a company may hire a person from the LGBTQ community.
A Corporate Index Score rates a company on four different rating criteria, last updated by the Human Rights Campaign in 1/27/2022:
- Equivalency in same- and different-sex spousal medical and soft benefits (No points awarded)
- Equivalency in same- and different-sex domestic partner medical and soft benefits (10)
- Equivalency in spousal and domestic partner family formation benefits regardless of sex. (10)
- Equal health coverage for transgender individuals without exclusion for medically necessary care (25)
- LGBTQ+ Benefits Guide (5)
3. Supporting an Inclusive Culture (25 points possible)a. Four LGBTQ+ Internal Training and Accountability Efforts (5)Businesses must demonstrate a firm-wide, sustained and accountable commitment to diversity and cultural competency, including at least four of the following elements:
c. Transgender Inclusion Best Practices (5)
d. Employee Group –OR– Diversity Council (10)
4. Corporate Social Responsibility (20 points possible)a. Five Distinct Efforts of Outreach or Engagement to Broader LGBTQ+ Community (15)
Businesses must demonstrate ongoing LGBTQ+ specific engagement that extends across the firm, including at least five of the following:
b. LGBTQ+ Corporate Social Responsibility
Contractor/supplier non-discrimination standards AND Philanthropic Giving Guidelines (5)
4. Responsible citizenship (-25)
How California Companies Rank?
In this year’s CSI, there were a total of 947 companies and law firms that were officially rated, compared to 887 listed in last year’s report.
In California, the average ranking for the 120 companies and law firms is 91 with 81 earning 100 points, 15 earning 90 points and above, and 10 earning 80 points and above.
There are a lot of famous people in California, both in Hollywood and as influencers in social media. California can hire social media influencers from the LGBTQ community. This would be getting points under section four, Corporate Social Responsibility, which references points for marketing, advertising, and hiring of at least one LGBTQ+ employee or organization to work with.
Although many Californians may not be aware of what a Corporate Social Responsibility Score in now, as the Human Rights Counsel rates more companies in their report on a yearly basis, it may be more understandable to some why there is a need, from corporations at least, to push for more inclusivity in the workplace.
People from smaller companies in more rural United States may need longer to get used to this as being accepted as the norm in the workplace.