In this episode of Negronis with Nord, James discusses the Bud Light & Dylan Mulvaney controversy; how creators can determine their influencer market rates; the definition of a 'lifestyle' influencer; tips on creating stand-out content; and more…
Below is a portion of the episode transcript for your reading pleasure. Make sure to subscribe to the Fohr YouTube channel to get notified of new episodes, and watch the full episode below.
Welcome to Negronis with Nord, episode 65. I had a crazy week last week. We were in LA for the Sephora Squad launch. It was incredible to meet the new Squad. We had amazing speakers, including Patrick Ta, who did a masterclass, the founder of Summer Fridays, the founders of Tower 28, and Crown Affair, and Selena Gomez, who walked us through the new Rare Beauty collection. But for me, the most impactful part was just meeting the Squad and seeing them all living out this surreal, incredible moment in their lives, this impactful, transformative moment in their careers.
If you were on the fence about applying this year, I would encourage you to get in the mindset of applying next year and getting yourself ready. I guarantee that most people who made it into the squad did not think they would get it. It is really hard to get, as only 60 people are selected. The only way to do that is by applying. So you never know. As they say, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Dylan Mulvaney and the Bud Light Controversy
I want to touch on the Dylan Mulvaney Bud Light situation. Dylan posted a video of herself drinking a beer, which I loved, and talked about her experience. One of the things Dylan mentioned was that nobody from Bud Light had reached out to her after the collaboration. I understand that it would be difficult for Budweiser and Bud Light to make a statement and defend Dylan publicly. While I think that morally that was probably the right thing to do, I do understand the business complexity and the amount of chaos that was happening inside Bud Light.
I understand that once a fire is burning, they may be reticent to fuel that fire. So it would be difficult for them to publicly come out and say, "Hey, this is not okay. We don't agree with this."
Again, while I believe that that is the right thing to do, I can understand why it would have been difficult for them to do that. I cannot understand how somebody from Budweiser did not reach out. The CEO of Bud Light was all over the morning talk shows, talking about the collaboration, Bud Light, and all of the drama, the fallout, and the boycott. It isn't unreasonable to expect that he would have emailed Dylan.
It was not Dylan's fault this happened. She did not create this situation. She has had an incredible amount of harassment and transphobia and just said that she was afraid to leave her house because she was helping to try to sell Bud Light. She got pulled into this thing that she had no control over.
If, as a brand, you find yourself in a situation where an influencer is taking heat for your brand, what you should do is stand up for them.
The guest on the show, Taylor Lorenz, is somebody that the right wing has focused on as a kind of lightning rod, and she has been the recipient of an enormous amount of online bullying and harassment. There were times when the New York Times and, more recently, the Washington Post have publicly stood behind Taylor and said, "Look, Taylor is a talented reporter, and we stand behind her. We think that this harassment is unfair, unjust, etc." So I think that, ultimately, that is what brands should do.
If you partner with an influencer and believe they were acting in good faith, they didn't do anything to potentially embarrass or harm the brand; then you should stand behind them.
You asked them to do something, and they became embroiled in controversy because of it. I absolutely think you should stand up and say, "This is not okay. This needs to stop. Please leave this person alone." At the very least, reach out and say, "How are you doing? This is unfair. I'm sorry this is happening to you. Let us know if we can support you in any way." I think that would go a long way. And again, I think that integrity matters. I would encourage influencers to consider that when choosing partners to work with.