Ted Cruz called on Anheuser-Busch’s CEO to investigate Bud Light’s controversial marketing partnership with Dylan Mulvaney, raising concerns that the transgender social media star’s audience consists mainly of minors.
In a Wednesday letter to Anheuser-Busch CEO Brandon Whitwowrth, US Sens. Cruz (R-Texas) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) claimed that Mulvaney commands an “audience [that] skews significantly younger than the legal drinking age.”
The letter cited Mulvaney’s “Days of Girlhood” series on Instagram and TikTok, where Mulvaney boasts 1.8 million and 10.8 million followers, respectively.
In one video, Mulvaney was “lip-syncing ‘I am Eloise, I am 6’ while dressed as a small child,” according to the letter.
In another that got more than 11 million views, Mulvaney was “‘at the mall’ giving away merchandise and cash to teenage girls, at least one of whom was still in braces,” the letter claimed.
In yet another TikTok video, Mulvaney was shopping at Target for Barbie dolls — which, according to the letter, are marketed to “young girls of 3-12 years of age.”
“The use of the phrase ‘Girlhood’ was not a slip of the tongue but rather emblematic of a series of Mulvaney’s online content that was specifically used to target, market to, and attract an audience of young people who are well below the legal drinking age in the United States,” Cruz and Blackburn wrote in the letter.
The senators also quoted Bud Light’s vice president of marketing Alissa Heinerscheid, since put on leave along with her boss, saying in an interview that if the company can’t persuade “young drinkers to come and drink this brand, there will be no future for Bud Light.”
The letter, signed on behalf of the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, cited marketing guidelines under the Beer Institute, an industry trade group, which dictate that “brewers should employ the perspective of the reasonable adult consumer of legal drinking age in advertising and marketing their products.”